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2 February 20232 minute read

The House Loses

Country-specific update: Ireland

In the case, the Irish Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) had to consider whether the taxpayer had a liability to Irish VAT with respect to the offering of blackjack, roulette, cash games and poker tournaments to its members.

The TAC determined that:

  • the provision of the above services does amount to the supply of a service for VAT purposes (the service in question being the provision of the setting and the facility to place bets and take part in blackjack, roulette, cash games and poker tournaments);
  • the taxpayer does receive consideration (for VAT purposes) from its members in return for it supplying and rendering those services; and
  • the amount of the consideration subject to VAT is the net amount after deducting from gross winnings the payments made to club members in respect of their winnings during the relevant VAT period.

In addition to the above the TAC also held that (a) Ireland had correctly transposed Article 135(1)(i) of Directive 2006/112/EC, into Irish law and (b)  there was no infringement of the principle of fiscal neutrality when considering the services (VAT exempt) provided by bookmakers to their customers.


Key takeaway

The decision does provide some clarity on the VAT treatment of certain gaming activities, although we understand that the case is to be appealed to the Irish High Court.  Taxpayers who operate in the area will need to consider the case and the potential impact on their VAT position.