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Ireland to Introduce Online Gambling Licensing

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Brian Cowen, the head of Ireland’s government, has confirmed that legislation will soon be passed that will require online casino and online sports betting site operators to pay licensing fees if they wish to advertise their services in Ireland.

Cowen, the leader of Ireland’s coalition government, spoke about the proposed legislation at a dinner hosted by horse racing newspaper, The Irish Field. He said that funds generated from the licensing fees could ‘underpin funding for the racing industry.’

And while the politician did not provide a date for the implementation of the legislation, it has been reported that the legislation has the support of many Irish gambling businesses. That is except for Paddy Power, one of Ireland’s largest bookmakers.

A Paddy Power spokesperson was reportedly quoted as saying that the plan is ‘doomed to fail.’ The large land and online gambling firm is openly questioning the idea of taxing companies that pay licensing fees in Ireland and banning those that don’t.

It argues that it is unfair that online gambling companies that have chosen to be in Ireland and create much-needed jobs should be penalised by the new legislation. And it questions why one sector of the Irish gambling market should subsidise another.

But Ireland is not alone in its quest to squeeze more money out of the online gambling industry. The UK government too is planning on introducing new licensing requirements and taxation methods for online gambling firms wishing to advertise in the UK.

In the UK, the move is being spearheaded by former Sports Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, who submitted a similar proposal for the UK online gambling market. And despite the recent change in the UK government, the proposal is expected to go ahead.

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