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Ireland Considering Major Gambling Tax Reforms

The Irish Department of Finance is taking a hard look at how it taxes the gambling industry. In particular, the Department is reviewing how the gambling tax reforms it introduced in 2015 are holding up.
Reports indicate that the review is part of the normal workflow at the Department, but the results of such a review could have a major impact on the island’s gambling business.
As part of the review process, government officials are seeking input from gambling operators as to how the reforms introduced in 2015 impacted their businesses.
The 2015 are significant because they mandated that offshore operators hold local licenses. That particular legislation also introduced a one percent tax on turnover from Irish gamblers and a 15 percent tax on the turnover from betting exchanges.
Lawmakers are asking how those changes impacted gambling operators and how proposed reforms might impact their businesses as well. In particular, the Department is asking how a model that shifted the tax burden from the operator to the punter would be viewed.
A similar change in tax laws in the UK, the Value-Added Tax (VAT), was introduced last year for UK operators. While the long-term impact of the VAT are yet to be determined, the short term result has been reduced profits.
For their part, Department of Finance officials say that they don’t have an agenda, they’re simply looking for, “…an appropriate level of betting tax.”
Operators have until June 19 to submit their opinions and other data to the Department. So far there’s been no determination as to when the Department of Finance might impose (or not impose) any new tax plans for the Irish gambling industry.