Betting is the only form of gambling subject to taxation in the form of excise duty. The Finance Act 2011 provides for the taxation of bets that remote bookmakers enter into with persons in the State. This means, for example, that a business which engages in online bookmaking and which accepts bets from people in this country will be liable for betting duty on those bets, irrespective of where that business is based. The existing betting duty (1%) will be applied to such bets. The Finance Act also provides for the taxation of Betting Exchanges under the new arrangements; however the calculation of the tax will take account of their particular business model, in other words a 15% tax on the commission charged. In addition, excise duties are being applied to the granting and renewal of remote bookmakers’ and remote betting intermediaries’ licences.
The Betting (Amendment) Bill, which will establish the regulatory framework for the licensing regime, was published in July last year. Since that date work has been continuing by officials of my Department and Revenue on the drawing up of a number of amendments to the Bill to strengthen enforcement measures. It is my intention, given the number of amendments, to go back to Government in the very near future for approval to republish the Bill.
The Deputy will be aware that under the EU Technical Standards and Regulations Directive it will be necessary to show the published Bill to the EU Commission and other Member States, which could take 3 months for clearance. However, I hope to use this time to progress the Bill through the Dáil subject to scheduling agreement between the Whips. The tax changes provided for in the Finance Act can only be implemented once the Betting (Amendment) Bill is enacted.