Irish Government Plans to Extend Online Betting Tax

Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael government has announced that it is close to finalizing plans to extend the nation’s current betting tax and has proposed a 1% tax on internet gambling bets made over the phone and online.

According to a statement issued by the government, offshore companies will be hit with a 15% charge on Irish commissions with these new changes and the government hopes to raise €20 million a year from the extended tax. A portion of the money raised by the extended taxes would be used to tackle the problem of gambling addiction in Ireland.

It was revealed that during 1991, betting turnover in Ireland amounted to almost €370 million with duty generated to the state amounting to €37 million. This figure tripled to €1.1 billion a decade later with €68 million going to the state. Due to the swift increase in telephone and online betting, this year’s turnover is expected to exceed €4.5 billion but only €26 will probably be raised in duty.

The additional €20 million which government wishes to raise a year will be used to provide for addiction services and supports.

Fine Gael Cork South West Deputy, Noel Harrington, said that because of the increase in online betting and the popularity of the smart phone it makes sense to tap into this sector in order to assist those who are struggling with gambling addictions. Harrington also expressed his hope that a signal would be sent to the international betting operators that Ireland is a location with relatively low taxes as well as an attractive possibility for employment and investment opportunities.