Online Gambling Tax Awaiting Approval in Ireland

Published March 10, 2015 by Elana K

Online Gambling Tax Awaiting Approval in Ireland

Ireland's president is poised to sign new bill that would impose a tax on online bookmakers in the country, and bring in an estimated 25 million euro to the government.

Late last week, a bill to tax online gambling in Ireland was submitted to the country’s president for approval by Michael Noonan, Ireland’s Finance Minister. The bill, Betting (Amendment) Bill 2013, will only be passed into law once operators that are already licensed in other jurisdictions are granted licences to offer services in Ireland.

Once this happens, the Irish government can begin imposing levies. A spokeswoman for Ireland’s finance department said they expect operators to begin paying taxes by the middle of this year.

Finally, No More Delays

The plan to tax foreign online bookmakers that offer remote services to Irish customers was originally proposed in 2011, but it was never put into action due to multiple delays. At the time, the suggestion was that the government collect a 1% tax on all bets made in betting shops, as well as bets made on the internet and by telephone.

The bill now comes at a time when Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and William Hill (all large bookmakers) are struggling with tighter regulations and higher taxes in the United Kingdom. Still, Paddy Power, Ireland’s biggest bookmaker, seems to be doing quite well. Last year, they earned a whopping 167 million euro before taxes.

Paddy Power stated that if the Irish tax bill had been enacted last year, they would have had to pay an estimated 8 million euro. Seems like pennies for a company that earned 167 million euro in the same year!

Benefits of Betting (Amendment) Bill 2013

While online casinos will, of course, lose out on some profits due to the new tax, the Irish government could accrue an additional 25 million euro per year, an amount that cannot be sneezed at.

Fortunately, Michael Noonan is working diligently on behalf of Ireland's government, and he is committed to seeing the bill passed into law.



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