Ireland to Launch Review of Betting Taxes

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Dermot Heathcote
Dermot HeathcoteOnline Casino Specialist
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Ireland’s finance ministry has confirmed that Irish betting taxes may undergo a reform following a comprehensive review of the current duties. This will be included as part of the wider review mandated by the 2016 Finance Bill and carried out by the Tax Strategy Group.

The review will specifically analyse the impact that changes made to the industry and the government by the 2015 Betting (Amendment) Act have had and will consider the expected impact of an increase in the rates of betting taxes on the revenue of the Exchequer and the betting industry as a whole. It will focus on the remote sector and the potential consequences of an increase in betting duty rates.

The review will also examine the industry’s desire to move bookmaking taxation from the bookmaker to the punter and how the punter would pay these taxes, for example as a percentage tax on all bets placed or an increase in the percentage on winnings paid by the punter. It will be looking at whether the current turnover from taxes is appropriate for the industry and how this should be amended.

The Irish Department of Finance requires all operators to submit their feedback by June 19 for it to be included in any considerations that make up part of the review.

Discussions last year regarding Ireland’s betting regulations had Dublin Central TD Maureen O’Sullivan stating that while the country has gambling laws and has had for many decades, these laws are outdated and don’t “take account of modern day gambling.” Earlier this year, Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) chief executive, Brian Kavanagh, expressed his support of increasing betting taxes, commenting that Ireland has one of the lowest rates of betting taxes worldwide.

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