New Irish online gambling tax set for approval

By David Cook
I-gaming operators in Ireland are bracing themselves for the introduction of new online gambling tax laws which are set to be implemented later this year.

Irish finance minister Michael Noonan announced on Thursday that the Betting (Amendment) Bill has been sent to be signed by President Michael Higgins.

The new regulations will require online gambling operators offering their services in the country to pay 15% tax on betting profits.

Operators that wish to offer Irish-facing i-gaming services are now required to apply for an Irish online gambling licence.

The tax plans were first announced in 2011, which proposed that the 1% tax on bets placed in shops should be extended to wagers made online or via telephone by Irish customers.

Several delays have prevented the legislation from being implemented, but it will now come into effect once operators that are already licensed in another jurisdiction are granted an Irish online gambling licence.

Operators will begin to pay the tax by the middle of the year, according to a spokeswoman for the finance department.

Paddy Power, Ireland’s most profitable bookmaker, generates more than 75% of its revenue via its online services, and the operator believes the tax would have cost it €8m last year.

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