After three years of trying to get online gambling taxed in Ireland, Finance Minister Michael Noonan looks like he will be getting his way as the Betting (Amendment) Bill 2013 goes to the President to be signed into law.
About the Bill
Under the current arrangements, online gambling operators who are based off-shore but offer their services to Irish residents are not subject to any taxation on profits made via the country. This is costing the Irish Treasury an estimated €25 million in lost revenue each year, and Noonan has been pushing to change the situation ever since he took his post up in 2012.
The proposed changes, which look certain to be approved, will bring Irish laws into line with what has happened in other countries, notably the U.K. in 2014. Operators will have to be licensed in Ireland regardless of whether or not they have any physical presence in the country, and pay taxes on transactions that originated there.
Expected to come into force in the middle of 2015, the new tax will bring online gambling in line with land based wagers which are already subject to a 1% rate.
Reaction to the Changes
Paddy Power, one of the largest online bookmakers, has said that the changes will cost it around €8 million a year. Cormac McCarthy, CFO at Paddy Power believes that the effective tax rate for the company will be pushed from 13% into the ''high teens'', saying that ''Where Ireland and the U.K. are right now, it seems to have hit a balance. The big increases we think are set for a while.''