Ireland Prepares To License And Tax Online GamblingMay 18, 2010 8:35 am
The state of Ireland’s heavily subsidised horse racing industry has been the cause of much concern of late, with the government looking for a target to make up for the lack of funding contributing to the problems of the industry.
Now, it looks like one has been found as the Irish government prepares to tap the huge potential revenue from online casinos and online sports betting sites.
Last Sunday, Ireland’s Prime Minister Brian Cowen announced that the Irish government were now all set to introduce the necessary legislation which would require overseas gaming companies to obtain a licence in order to operate in the Irish market.
In addition, at ‘The Irish Field’ (racing newspaper) hosted night Brian Cowen also revealed that the government would start imposing taxes on any overseas gambling businesses offering their services to Ireland’s domestic consumers. As Cowen explained:
“Such betting must be brought within the tax net, not just because it will increase revenue, but also because it will mean that those currently not contributing to securing the future of important indigenous industries will now make that contribution.”
However, not everyone would appear to be happy with the proposals with many gaming sites believing that by choosing to locate in Ireland and provide labour opportunities for the country’s domestic economy, they will now be unfairly targeted with the new taxes.
Furthermore, they are arguing that the high levels of subsidies required by the horse racing Industry was because the sport was on the brink of becoming a “niche gambling product,” and that it was unfair to rely heavily on the gaming companies to bail it out. Instead, it was suggested that the horse racing industry concentrated its efforts more on regaining its status as a mainstream sport.
Despite criticism, the Irish head of government, Brian Cowen has indicated in the strongest possible ways that he intends to go ahead with the plan, although the date of any future implementation has yet to be announced.