Ireland’s licensed regime is launched

Ireland’s licensed regime is launched

Thursday, August 6, 2015 Totally Gaming
Operators must now be licensed if they offer games to customers in Ireland

Ireland’s new gambling framework has now become law, with remote operators now trading illegally if they do not have a license.

The Betting (Amendment) Act 2015, passed in April after originally being introduced in 2011, amends the existing Betting Act 1931 and requires remote bookmakers and betting intermediaries providing betting services to customers in Ireland to have gained a licence by August 1.

The Act also means that – like the UK’s Point of Consumption Tax - online bookmakers will have to pay one per cent tax on all wagers placed in the country, while betting exchanges will pay 15 per cent of the commission they charge.

“The Betting Amendment Bill is just a first step in providing for a well regulated betting and gambling regime,” said Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonon. “This Bill will allow for the regulation of those providing betting services by remote means to persons within the jurisdiction for the first time.

“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.”

The government hopes that the new regime could help raise an additional €25m ($27.5m) each year for the country, but Paddy Power recently estimated that the tax would have cost it an extra €8m last year.

PokerStars is one company that has gained a remote bookmaker’s license from the regulatory Irish Revenue Commissioners. The Amaya-owned brand says it will offer sports betting through the license, but its existing poker and casino games in Ireland will continue to operate under its European license from Malta.

Stephen Fisk, managing director of sports betting at PokerStars, said: “Our operation of poker, casino games, and now sports betting shows that players trust us to deliver a variety of games in a fun and exciting way. We look forward to building on this by operating under this new licence.”

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