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Gambling in Ireland
Just across the Irish sea from the gambling heaven that is the UK there is a nation people who love to gamble with even more passion and vigour. Its called Ireland and until recently there was not a single bona fide land based or online casino to be found. For a country devoid of sufficient tax revenue this was immature and impecunious. And the country is Ireland.
Ireland Flag
."Wait a minute" I hear many travellers to the Green Isle say. There are casinos all over the place in Dublin, Cork and elsewhere. This is true, there were about 50 "private" gambling houses all over the country doing pretty much what they wanted. Added to this the people could happily gamble online without a shred of regulation protecting them or the operators being licensed or paying tax to the Irish governmet.

This has now changed. Last year in March Irish President signed into law the Betting (Amendment) Act, 2015 and this came into practise in by August 1, 2015. Now all the betting exchanges, bookmaking sites and the top online bingo sites in Ireland have to pay tax on gross revenue. Online casino, gaming and bingo services in Ireland will face a 1% tax on gross gaming revenue whilst online sports betting operations will be charged at a 15% net revenue rate, the same rate set by the UK Gambling Commission for activities in the UK market.

All online gambling operators wishing to offer services in the country are now required to gain an approved licence, each of which will last for two years. Those operators that to not acquire a licence and still offer services in Ireland could face a fine of up to €300,000 ($320,000). The new online betting tax could help raise an additional €25 million ($27.5 million) each year for the country.

Further to this amendment are new powers to allow licensed casino premises in Ireland although it has ruled out the possibility of introducing ‘Las Vegas-style’ super-casinos such as that backed by Independent TD Michael Lowry, which had been proposed for Tipperary.

The number of casinos has been restricted to 40, will only allow them to have a maximum of 15 tables, and will require each establishment to hold a licence. The casinos are only allowed in certain locations — they are not allowed to be near schools or health care facilities, for example. The sale of alcohol is allowed, but only during bar hours.

Operators will have to pay a levy, which will go into a Social Gambling Fund, which will be used to assist treatment services for those with gambling addictions, as well as educational and information services. This is already a well established Gamble Aware operation in Ireland.

The bill has also introduced age restrictions for players, a requirement for staff to be given specific training, and for key personnel in each casino to have a personal licence.

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