Irish operators express concerns over Revenue and Customs survey

Coinslot - Irish operators Customs Revenue survey
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As Ireland’s gaming and amusements industry undergoes an audit and research survey, the country’s operators have encountered a number of issues due to the emerald isle’s archaic gambling legislation.


Operators in Ireland have expressed concerns as the country’s gaming and amusements industry undergoes an audit and research survey carried out by the offices of the Revenue Commissioners and the Customs and Excise.

The survey is an in depth study that involves visits to every machine outlet in the country, including arcades which operate with gaming certificates issued by the district court and also arcades that are primarily amusements – holding no gaming certificates. Private Members Clubs and other businesses which operate machines are also included.

Commencing in January, the survey is expected to continue to the end of the year, however it is believed that a number of problems are arising as a result of these visits, principally because of the archaic nature of present legislation governing the industry.

The current legislation in relation to stakes and prizes is widely accepted as being outdated, hopelessly so according to most analysts, as the limits were set back in 1956 and never updated. A further problem surrounds the definition of machines and their respective excise duty, as well as what use different machine categories can be put to. In other words, is the machine category to be classified as gaming or amusements?

A large and growing contingent of operators – who prefer to remain anonymous – are expressing concerns as to what conclusions the survey will reach and what the action outcome will be. They justifiably point out that they are expected to run businesses in 2017 operating under legislation introduced in 1956 in relation to gaming, and 1992 as far as amusements are concerned.

It appears that the official inspections are very thorough and involve the entire operation of the business such as VAT and other taxation compliance. This includes employers obligations to employees to ensure that proper registration exists and all regulations are being complied with. John Roche of the Irish Amusement Trades Association was reluctant to discuss the matter with Coinslot when contacted. He stated that IATA had been given notice of the survey by Revenue and had communicated this to their members in advance of it commencing. He said that any members of his association who felt that they had difficulties should contact him.

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