The Revenue Commissioners, which is commonly referred to simply as Revenue, has decided to expand its crackdown on illegal casinos in Dublin. The Irish Government agency that is currently bears the responsibility for taxation, customs, excise and other related issues, also revealed to the Finance Minister that the process of seizing the controversial machines has already started.
Earlier this year, it became clear that unlicensed gambling machines had spread in Dublin. According to media reports, the unlawful terminals bypassed a piece of legislation under which casino-style gaming machines are currently banned. As The Times revealed at the time, the casinos which have been offering casino-style gaming machines are actually ignoring a Dublin City Council directive, as well as some Revenue Commissioners’ rules.
The directive of the Dublin City Council was officially rolled out in 1988. Under the directive’s provisions, gaming licences cannot be issued in the country’s capital, which eventually made casino operators in Dublin apply for amusement licenses, which are not subjected to so much scrutiny.
According to a definition of the Revenue, amusement machines offer games that allow players to win only the chance to play again or a non-monetary prize which value would not surpass €7.
Soon after media reports emerged, the Revenue Commissioners sent a bunch of enforcement letters to Dublin-based gaming operators, setting a deadline for them to remove all casino-style machines from their premises, or the machines would otherwise be forcibly seized.
About 250 Premises Have Been Inspected So Far
The Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins asked the Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to provide more information about the action against the illegal casino-style gaming machines. Mr. Donohoe responded to the request, saying that despite the fact that no machines had yet been removed from operators’ premises, the legal process of doing so had already started.
As explained by the Finance Minister, about 250 premises have been inspected as part of the crackdown, with the latter not spreading even further. In addition, the Finance Minister revealed that it was the justice department which was engaged with any updates made to the law governing gambling machines. Mr. Donohoe also shared that the inspections made by the Revenue Commissioners across the industry had already resulted in a significant increase in operators’ voluntary compliance.
The illegal gaming machines in Dublin have been accepting stakes amounting to up to €250, and the cash prizes offered by them a far larger than the ones which are legally permitted on so-called amusement machines. So far in 2018, the competent authorities have granted a total of 8,277 gaming machine licences thanks to which an excise revenue amounting to €2.3 million has been generated. In comparison, the excise revenue of gaming machines in 2016 was worth €1.8 million, while in 2017 it amounted to €2.7 million.