Betting tax extended to online operators
A plan to apply betting tax to online bookmakers is among the provisions included in the Finance Bill, which has been published today.
Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan announced in the Budget last December that the Government intended to extend the existing 1 per cent levy on betting turnover in bookmakers to online operators such as Irish-owned Paddy Power and Boylesports, who have previously been exempt from the charge.
The measure is expected to raise about €20 million extra in a full year.
Betting exchanges such as Betfair, which allow people to make bets with other customers online, are to be made liable to a "betting intermediary duty" at the rate of 15 per cent of the commission they receive from punters in Ireland.
A number of commercial lawyers had previously warned that the move to apply betting tax to online operators could force bookmakers to move offshore if they did not also apply to those who offer online betting but are based outside of Ireland.
Mr Lenihan has indicated that he is considering a licensing system for such operators.
The regulatory changes outlined in the Finance Bill are to be provided for through separate legislation amending the Betting Act 1931.
Seems like were grand from a tax on Betfair trades point of view (which was the ultimate feared disaster), and me spending time looking for a villa in Thailand was time wasted (although the places are amazing for €300 per two and a half months, unreal!).
I'm guessing Betfair will agree (unless they havent already) but given our that Government and HRI (who will be spending the money I presume) are a shower of useless twats who cant be relied upon, we shall see.
Youve got to be happy enough theyve had the cop on not to tax every bet on the exchanges though.