Proponents of Internet gambling in Ireland have a new champion for the cause: none other than Taoiseach Brian Cowen himself. Stating that “Ireland is set to introduce the necessary legislation,” Cowen has called for a scheme to tax online and telephone betting within the country.
The new regulations would require Internet gambling companies which operate outside of Ireland to obtain licensing. Funds collected from the new taxation would be applied to funding Ireland’s horse racing industry. Opposition to legalization of online gambling in Ireland for this purpose argue that the horse racing industry should find other ways to bail itself out, such as mainstreaming the sport.
Cowen also revealed last week that the Irish government would start imposing taxes on all overseas gambling businesses providing service to domestic consumers in Ireland.
“Such betting must be brought within the tax net,” said Cowen, “not just because it will increase revenue, but also because it will mean that those currently not contributing to securing the future of important indigenous industries will now make that contribution.”
Though casino gambling in The Republic of Ireland is technically illegal, the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act allows a casino to do business as a “private club.” Such clubs set age limits and do not serve alcohol. Northern Ireland’s law is currently shaped by the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements Order of 1985, which allows casinos to be established anywhere in the country.