Irish legislation moving forward; U.K. study results to be published; Europe Lotteries break funding record

eu flagIrish media are reporting the country will publish online betting legislation this week. Sunday Business Post reports that a 1 percent turnover tax on Internet stakes will be introduced under the plans and for betting exchanges there will be a 15 percent levy on commission. Simon Coveney, minister for agriculture and food, is confident that the European Commission will approve it in “two to three months” and the charges could take effect from the start of 2013. This in itself is unlikely, as ministers in the country don’t see the gambling industry as a priority ahead of other more important economic matters.

Over the Irish Sea, the U.K. is expected to publish results this week of a parliamentary inquiry into the gambling industry. The Culture Select Committee has taken the view of bookies, casinos, church groups, online gambling sites and a number of other stakeholders in order to be as well informed as possible. The inquiry got underway a year ago and results are likely to focus on regulation and how best to tax companies not based in the UK. This year’s budget set the cat amongst the pigeons when it called for a point of consumption tax on firms taking bets in the U.K. That won’t be coming in until at least late 2014 and the results of this inquiry aren’t likely to derail that happening.

Europe’s lotteries saw an increase in turnover in 2011 as the figure increased to €81.5 million as the continent’s lotteries at the same time broke a record with the amount it gave back to State budgets. €25 billion was generated by Europe’s lotteries for state budgets with €2.5 billion going towards grass-roots sport and the earlier figure meant that 70 percent of gross gaming revenue was invested in society. EL President Friedrich Stickler added: “Our figures clearly show how our members are essential contributors to the benefit of society throughout Europe and how essential it is that the public utility model that we stand for is preserved. I urge the governments throughout Europe to continue their efforts to fight the presence of illegal operators that flood consumers with dangerous and illicit products and are threatening the basis on which we operate”.