Ireland: No delay on PoC Tax

Ireland: No delay on PoC Tax

Monday, July 20, 2015 Totally Gaming
Brian Kavanagh is confident about the implementation of the bill

Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh has said that the referral of the UK’s Point of Consumption (PoC) tax to the European Court will not affect the implementation of his own country’s new gambling duty.

Kavanagh told the Irish Times newspaper that there will be no further delay to the introduction of the Betting (Amendment) Bill – which could be launched by the end of this month - despite the UK’s PoC tax being sent to the European Union’s Court of Justice (CJEU) by the High Court following a complaint by the Gibraltar Betting & Gaming Association (GBGA).

The GBGA claimed the new tax is discriminatory and restricts movement of services and there has been speculation the UK government could be forced to repay tax already secured.

“It is not an unexpected development,” said Kavanagh, whose organisation is the regulatory body of horse racing in Ireland. “It is one to watch but not one to have concerns about. We will have to wait and see and check out the detail of the case.

“The basic position is unsustainable whereby you can stand in a betting shop and pay a certain rate of tax on a bet, then stand outside, telephone a bet, and pay a different rate of tax.”

The introduction of Ireland’s new tax, which will extend the one per cent tax on betting turnover currently paid by retail bookmakers to online sportsbooks, has been repeatedly delayed, with a number of European Union (EU) examinations of the new legislation carried out.

Estimates in October 2014 showed the new betting tax could raise up to €25m ($27.1m) for the Irish government, with a figure of €11m said to be set aside to improve Ireland’s horse and greyhound racing industry.

“It has been through the European validation process,” Kavanagh said. “Now whether this case in Britain is a technicality whereby the validation process can be tested in court, I don’t know.

“But the system has been operating in Britain since December and the Irish system will come in in a few weeks time so there will be no hold up in that respect. I think it is a case of watching what is going on. Both pieces of legislation, in both jurisdictions, had to be run by the EU before being introduced so they’ve been through that process,” he said. 

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