The government in Ireland has approved the Gambling Act 2015 to be passed, with the new laws expected to come into force by 1st August.
Gambling Act 2015 will be enforced in Ireland
Over the last three years various drafts have been submitted and delayed but Ireland’s new Gambling Act is finally set to become law. The Act will allow the country to put into practice new tax rules on online gambling, something that Michael Noonan has been campaigning for since being appointed Minister for Finance in March 2011. Under the Act, online casino, gaming and bingo services in Ireland will be charged 1% tax on gross gaming revenue. Meanwhile online sports betting operations will face a 15% tax on net revenue rates, bringing Irish rules into line with the UK market, where the UK Gambling Commission is responsible for setting tax rates. The regulations will apply to remote operators offering services to Irish customers as well as those based in the country.
Licences must be granted
In a move that will reassure consumers, online gambling companies offering services in Ireland must now apply for and be granted an approved licence to operate. These licences will cost €10,000 and approve the holder to offer online gambling services in Ireland for two years. Operators found to be running services without a licence will be hit with a fine of up to €300,000. The process for licensing was opened last week. In a statement Mr Noonan said: “The Betting Amendment Bill is just a first step in providing for a well regulated betting and gambling regime. This Bill will allow for the regulation of those providing betting services by remote means to persons within the jurisdiction for the first time.” The finance minister continued: “This is a major step in the right direction. The implementation of the regulatory regime for remote operators will also allow for the extension of betting duty to these companies.”