Ireland boosts tax revenue by cracking down unlicensed gambling machines

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Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, revealed that the country has collected over €1 million (US$1.15 million) in taxes in 2017 as part of its crackdown on unlicensed gambling machines illegal casinos collected that were offering. The Office of the Revenue Commissioners collected these amounts by forcing the operators to legitimise the machines and obtain licenses.

In 2016, 6088 machines were licensed, giving the Revenue office €1.8 million (US$ 2.07 million) in tax money. The number skyrocketed last year to 9612, resulting in €2.7 million (US$3.11 million) being collected.

The Revenue office launched a national project last year that focused on the amusement and gaming machine sector. That project has resulted in a significant amount of locations being sent enforcement letters, advising them to either remove their machines or face seizures and fines.

A representative for the Office of Revenue Commissioners indicated that there had been over 300 “interventions” as a result of the project in response to a lack of compliance with regulations. Thanks to the interventions, more than €1.1 million (US$1.27 million) was collected. According to the representative, the Revenue office is “alert to, and proactive in addressing, the risks posed by the gaming and amusement sector.” He further stated, “Using a range of compliance interventions the project, which is operating on a national basis, has achieved a significant increase in tax and licensing compliance.”

The representative also indicated that the Revenue office has not relented in its pursuit of illegal operations. He told The Journal, “This project is ongoing and for that reason no further details of the operation can be provided at this time. However, I would like to assure you that Revenue is intent on addressing all forms of licensing non-compliance in the gaming and amusement sector.”

Gaming machines, per the Finance Act of 1975, must have a valid “Excise license” issued by the DOR. If a machine is available for play and does not have the proper license displayed, the operator can have the machine(s) removed. The current “intervention” programme includes routine visits to locations in an effort to verify the licenses are in order. If a license is not found, the machine(s) are confiscated and fines levied against the owner of the establishment.


Source: European Gaming Industry News

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