Ireland’s new laws designed to tax online gambling companies which access Irish punters, stalled for years by extensive discussions and delays (see previous reports), appears to be on the final stretch.
On Thursday finance minister Michael Noonan confirmed that the measure has been sent to the president’s office for signature into law, which will make implementation possible by the middle of the year.
The Reuters news agency reports: “The new tax comes as Paddy Power and other major bookmakers such as Ladbrokes and William Hill grapple with tighter regulation and additional taxes in Britain, including duties on online betting and high-stakes gambling machines.
“Ireland first announced plans to bring online operators into the tax net in 2011, proposing that the 1 percent tax on bets placed in shops be extended to wagers made online or over the telephone from customers based in Ireland.”
The report goes on to note that operators who are already licensed in another jurisdiction and are suitable will be granted licenses to provide betting services in Ireland…and pay the requisite taxes.
Paddy Power, Ireland’s largest bookmaker, earns more than three quarters of its profit online and has said the tax would have cost it Euro 8 million last year, had it been in place. Its profit before tax for 2014 was Euro 167 million, although the new tax will push the company’s effective taxation rate into a higher bracket.