The Republic of Ireland will no longer tolerate unlicensed gambling machines, and their crackdown has brought in additional tax contributions of €1 million. This is according to comments made by the Revenue regarding progress on the nationwide project, which is working towards curbing illegal gambling operations.
The Journal, a local news outlet, recently cited official data from the government taxation industry that stated that gambling machine licenses being issued had risen from 6 088 in 2016 to 9612 in 2017. The notable increase also saw tax revenue of €2.7 million streaming in last year, up from the €1.8 million which was brought in in 2016.
The government agency explained that this leap in revenue had come about a nationwide project aimed at checking gaming machine operator compliance had been launched, with reprisals issued for violations. When they were interviewed about the progress of this report, a spokesperson for the Revenue informed The Journal that there had been 300 non-compliance interventions since the project’s start, which together have seen the collection of an extra €1.1 million. No more details were given, as the project is on going, but the agency was determined to keep addressing the issue.
After an enquiry by The Times revealed that a number of Dublin arcades were defying a citywide ban and providing gambling machines on their premises, Revenue’s enforcement letters were sent out en masse. The guilty facilities were given 21 days to have them removed or face their forced removal and penalties being implemented
The city’s arcades may operate machines that reward players with free play or non-monetary prizes which do not have a value exceeding €7, and the machines require licenses from the appropriate regulators. However, a reform issued in 1998 strictly prohibits real money gambling machines from operating within the city limits.
The Times’ investigation revealed that many arcades across Dublin were operating gambling machines on their amusement machine licenses, with casino-style games like Blackjack, Roulette, and Video Poker all making an appearance. Bets of as much as €2 500 were being made, and the cash prizes varied in size, but certainly occasionally exceeded €7.
The Irish Amusement Trades Association has stated that it is considering legal action against the Revenue, since the agency’s actions are violating the principles concerning the provision of gambling services in member states of the European Union.
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