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Irish government proposes taxing internet operators

The Irish government has presented the toughest budget in the Republic's history to parliament, with the first key vote on it set for this evening (Tuesday).

It appears that the Irish horseracing sector's wish list, that telephone and off-shore internet betting be brought into the tax net, may be materialising as Minister of Finance, Brian Lenihan, announced that the Government intends to include provisions in the Finance Bill and revise the Betting Act 1931 to ensure that all bookmakers taking online bets from Ireland will pay a 1% betting duty on those bets in the same way that betting shops currently do.

Betting Exchanges will also be subject to tax under the new arrangements but the calculation of the tax will differ from that applying to bookmakers.

The budget report said that Government is hopeful that by including the high-growth area of the betting sector, particularly given the increasing prevalence of smart phones, the tax base from betting will be boosted significantly. In a full year it is expected that the tax yield could grow up to €20 million depending on the prevailing market conditions.

Lenihan indicated that the Department of Justice has been progressing on a proper licensing regime and went on to say that "a location with an appropriate licensing framework coupled with relatively low taxes provides real investment and employment opportunities in this sector."

Source: InfoPowa News

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