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Ireland to Implement Tax Changes

Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan revealed this week that legislation to tax online bookmakers will be rolled out next year. According to reports, taxes will include a 1% hit on online and phone wagers, a 15% charge on commissions from “offshore” bookmakers, and a 15% “intermediaries’ duty” on betting exchanges.

Once the final draft has been published, expected early next year, the legislation will be sent to the EU Commission for review. With approval, Noonan said that changes in taxation will take place in the second quarter of 2012. The move will raise an additional €10 million next year and around €20 million each year from 2013.

Bookmakers in the country have been generally supportive, but have urged the government to enforce the changes across all operators, not just ones located in Ireland. “It must be implemented right across the industry. It cannot just hit Irish-based firms like ourselves,” a BoyleSports spokesman told PokerUpdate.

Paddy Power, which is expected to pay an additional €5-6 million in taxes under the new system, also gave its approval but said that “the Government has to make sure that bookmakers not based in Ireland are also hit.”

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