The Betting Amendment Bill was introduced to the Irish cabinet last week, in a move that could potentially change the way the online gambling industry functions in this country.
About the Bill
Under the proposed latest amendment, the state would expand the existing one percent levy on bets placed with land-based bookmakers to online betting operators. Once the Gambling Control Bill 2013 is enacted, providing a regulated regime for online casino and poker, it intends to consider taxation of the wider sector.
Last July, the Government published the Betting (Amendment) Bill 2012. Since then, it has been working on a number of amendments which it says would strengthen enforcement measures. It says the bill’s purpose is to ensure fair and equal treatment of all bookmakers and betting exchanges in terms of taxation and licensing – regardless of platform.
What Does It All Mean?
Like other European countries, Ireland has been searching for ways to regulate online gambling and ensure it adheres to the rules and standards of fair and responsible gaming. Conveniently, the law also paves the way for the cash-strapped Treasury to raise an extra 17 million euros per year through online gambling taxes.
Paddy Power, Ireland’s leading online gambling operator, estimates the proposed law would cost the company €6m. euros in taxes each year. Leading bookmakers say that state will only make money if its laws are enforced across the board. Horse Racing Ireland and the Greyhound Board hope the extra money is used for state grants.