Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (203)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

203. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Finance the number of gaming machines seized by the Revenue Commissioners under section 43 of the Finance Act 1975 in each of the years 2016 to 2020, in tabular form. [6613/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised that Revenue began a nationwide compliance project in 2017 in relation to the gaming and amusement sector. The main aims of this project (ongoing) are to ensure maximum licensing compliance in the sector and to provide assurance to the legitimate trade.

Since the project began there has been a significant increase in licensing compliance by operators in areas where gaming is permitted. For example, the number of licensed gaming machines increased from just over 6,000 in 2016 to almost 14,000 in 2019, thereby reducing the need for seizure operations. Gaming machine license fees also increased from €1.84m in 2016 to €3.3m in 2019. The 2020 figures of almost 5,000 licenses issued and €1.4m license fees collected were very significantly reduced due to COVID-19 related trading restrictions across the gaming industry.

Revenue has confirmed that the number of gaming machines seized during the years 2016 to 2020 is as set out in the table below. The seizures in 2020 were completed in the early part of the year prior to COVID-19 restrictions commencing.

Year

No. of seizures

2016

0

2017

0

2018

157

2019

259

2020

130

Question No. 204 answered with Question No. 193.
Question No. 205 answered with Question No. 187.