The Irish government has just announced its imminent plans to extend the country’s betting taxes regarding wagers placed online and over the phone - hoping to raise an extra €20 million per year. On Tuesday 6th December, 2011, during his budget’s speech, Finance Minister Michael Noonan revealed the plan to put a 1% tax on phone and online betting accompanied by a 15% on the Irish commissions earned by companies operating offshore.
Up to now, betting taxes in Ireland only applied to bets placed in betting shops by Irish punters either online or over the phone with offshore entities, thereby falling outside the tax net. However, Irish authorities were working to widen the tax base in this area; extending betting duties to remote bookmakers and also introducing a tax for exchanges by betting intermediaries. In the past, this was always an issue considered as difficult to tackle.
Ireland’s betting turnover during 1991 totalled almost €370 million and generated around €37 million in taxes. In just a decade later, the turnover figure tripled to €1.1 billion but only €68 million went in the government’s hands. With the rapid expansion of telephone and online betting over the recent years; this year’s turnover is expected to exceed €4.5 billion while only €26 million is likely to be raised in taxes. The new tax regime has been planned in view of these figures, in order to raise the government’s income from this growing industry.