Ireland’s Department of Finance recently announced that it is in the process of reviewing its current betting tax regime, possibly easing operator’s burden shifting instead to the punter.
The review, which is part of the government’s broader Tax Strategy Group process, will look at changes that were introduced in 2015 with the Betting (Amendment) Act, and determine the effects the tax change had not just on exchequer revenues, but the on the bookmaking industry as well, and the possible ways in which the system can be reformed.
The Betting Act required that Irish online betting operators possess a local license and also imposed on them a 1 percent tax on turnover gained from Irish punters. Betting exchanges, meanwhile, were made to pay 15 percent of their Irish commissions.
According to the global news tax outlet, Tax News, the consultation process will involve operator input in some specific areas including whether or not the current model of turnover tax its various approaches are industry appropriate and whether betting tax levels and their equivalents on exchange commission are correct. Additionally, the process will look to gain feedback on what the possible impact would be if taxation shifts from bookmaker to punter. The Department suggests one of two models could be implemented, one where instead of the operator paying the 1 percent turnover tax, the punter pays; the other, increasing the amount taxed on punter winnings.
Dublin Central Teachta Dála (TD) Maureen O’Sullivan reportedly said last year that even though Ireland has had gambling regulations and anti-betting legislation in place since 1931, the laws are antiquated and they don’t take modern-day gambling into account. O’Sullivan said that although Ireland has been considering reforming the old laws, the government needs new regulations sooner than later to help ensure that illegal activity in the market involving money laundering conducted by criminal gangs be dealt with.
According to the report, the consultation process is set to close on June 19, when operators will submit their reviews.