Stalled Irish betting bill to be passed into law

Michael Noonan

Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan reported on Thursday that the country’s stalled online gambling tax bill has been sent to President Michael Higgins to sign into law.

The Irish Betting (Amendment) Bill, will clear the way for Ireland to impose tax charges on several online betting operators targeting Irish consumers. The betting charges will see a 1% tax imposed on betting turnover, mirroring Irish retail betting taxes. Online betting exchanges such as Betfair and Betdaq will face a 15% tax on betting profits.

The taxes will be imposed on all forms of digital wagering made by Irish consumers including mobile and telephone placed wagers.

The Irish Finance Department stated that it expected the bill to be in place by mid-2014, with operators applying for regional online betting licenses.

The stalled progress of the Irish Betting Bill has met much criticism from the country’s political parties as the bill had been drafted in 2011 but faced continued delays.

Paddy Power Ireland’s biggest betting operator, told Reuters News that the new betting taxes would have cost the company €8 million in 2014. The company said this week that its effective tax rate would be pushed into the high teens from 13 percent.

“Where Ireland and the UK are at right now, it seems to have hit a balance. The big increases we think are set for a while,” Paddy Power Chief Financial Officer Cormac McCarthy

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