Update: Internet Operators to be Taxed in Ireland?

Parliament may approve budget proposal, which include taxation of online betting at betting-shop level

The Irish Parliament has recently been put before a difficult task, given the decision it has to make about the toughest budget in the Republic's history. The first key vote was expected to be held in the evening of Dec. 7.

It was announced by the Finance Minister Brian Lenihan that the Government plans to include provisions in the Finance Bill and revise the Betting Act 1931 so that all bookmakers taking online bets from Ireland will pay a 1 percent betting duty on those bets just like betting shops currently do, which further implies that the wishes of the Irish horseracing sector that telephone and off-shore internet betting be brought into the tax net may be granted.

Apart from this, the new provisions will also tax betting exchanges, but the tax amount will be different than the one for bookmakers.

It is said in the budget that the Government hopes that, considering the widespread use of smart phones, inclusion of the fast expanding betting sector will bring a significant boost to the tax base from betting, making the tax yield grow up to Euro 20 million depending on the market conditions.

According to Lenihan, a proper licensing regime has been the subject of work of the Department of Justice , and he added that "a location with an appropriate licensing framework coupled with relatively low taxes provides real investment and employment opportunities in this sector."

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