A Bill that should pave the way for State to tax on line gambling will go ahead of cabinet currently, sparking speculation that it’ll ultimately come to be law by the end in the year.
The Government pledged to extend the existing 1 per cent levy on bets placed in bookie shops to online wagers shortly right after it took power, however the plan has encountered a series of delays.
The Cabinet is on account of talk about the Betting Amendment Bill, which will make this probable, at its meeting now and it really is probably to provide the go-ahead for it to be published.
It can then visit the EU Commission for approval, a approach that will take up to 3 months, and ahead of it goes just before the Oireachtas later this year to become passed into law.
Estimates of the volume of cash the tax will raise for the State vary, however the figure is believed to become involving €15 million and €17 million.
Horse Racing Ireland as well as the Greyhound Board, the State bodies that oversee horse and dog racing inside the Republic, are probably to welcome any progress with all the legislation.
Both want the additional cash raised to be allocated to the State-administered Horse and Greyhound Fund, on which they partly rely for finance. Grants to the scheme have fallen from €61 million in 2008 to €44 million this year.
The original 2001 legislation generating the fund established a hyperlink among it along with the betting tax. Former minister for finance Brian Lenihan broke the connection involving the two in 2008, but pledged that the State would continue to support both.
A Government-commissioned report by financial consultants Indecon final year stated the existing betting tax raised €28 million in 2011, and pointed out that there was a considerable shortfall involving this figure plus the grant for the Horse and Greyhound fund.
Indecon estimated that total betting turnover within the Republic of Ireland came to €4.365 billion, implying that extending the tax to on the internet betting would come to close to generating up the shortfall.
Bookmakers including Boylesports and Paddy Energy have warned that enforcement will probably be vital, as a failure to levy it on overseas operators will hand them a competitive benefit.
Michael Bent, head of finance at Boylesports stated yesterday the firm was happy to pay when there was a level playing field for everybody inside the market place. “In the event of there not becoming a level playing field, the only ones that may be penalised are going to be Irish organizations,” he said.
Paddy Power has said in the past that the tax could expense it about €6 million a year. Ladbrokes, the largest overseas operator within the Irish industry, has already indicated it would comply together with the law.
Final year, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney warned that racing didn’t have an automatic entitlement to the extra money raised.