The Irish government’s online game taxation plans have been delayed until mid-2015, sources say. Ireland’s finance minister has opted to respond to London bookmakers’ regulatory oversight and new taxes.
New Regulation and Loophole Targeting
Many London officials have closed an exploited loophole granting bookmakers the ability to pay lower taxes while accessing offshore tax policies. Neighbouring countries have notoriously kept up generous policies, and new taxes directed towards high-stakes betting machines are imminent.
The Irish government hasn’t created plans to tax online gaming in three years, and the future-proposed system promises a 1 percent tax levied against shop-betting players online. Essentially, Irish betters will suffer an additional tax when playing from home, increasing Ireland’s revenue.
The new tax will increase revenue, too, as neighbouring country concerns have slowed parliamentary processes while balancing local taxation and gaming revenue.
Response and Future Regulatory Efforts
These announcements have worried several gaming operators; as such a bill may destabilize well-rounded and renowned online gaming communities. Big-time bookmakers, such as Paddy Power, have indicated an increased cost — of approximately millions of euros — every year. Additionally, responses have indicated a levelled playing field for domestic gaming companies intending to compete internationally.
Larger Overhaul and Equal Treatment
The Irish government has speculated a $25 million tax revenue increase annually, and approximately $1.5 billion is wagered by online Irish betters per year. Often, most profits are directed towards overseas corporations, and online tax proponents will likely channel funds back into Ireland.
While the tax is part of a larger Irish bill — one contingent upon overhauling the Irish gaming industry — gamer reception has been surprisingly quiet. The bill will focus upon establishing equal treatment of bookmakers while establishing sturdy industry provisions, regardless of operating area. Such changes, while affecting gamblers, will likely impact industry decision-makers upon inception.