PokerStars players based in the Republic of Ireland can now place sports bets via the PokerStars 7 client after the Irish Revenue Commissioners granted it a remote bookmakers licence.
Players will not experience any changes in the software or its services with poker and casino games continuing to operate under PokerStars’ European license held in Malta. However, under Irish law, PokerStars must now pay local betting duty to the Government of the Republic of Ireland.
“We’re very pleased to receive a license for our sports betting offering on PokerStars in Ireland,” said Stephen Fisk, the Managing Director of Sports Betting for PokerStars. “Our operation of poker, casino games, and now sports betting shows that players trust us to deliver a variety of games in a fun and exciting way.”
Offering sports betting to Republic of Ireland residents has not come cheap for PokerStars thanks to the [B]Gambling (Amendment) Act 2015 that the Irish government passed in March 2015.
Sports betting has been available via the PokerStars client from players from the United Kingdom since May 2015. At its launch, PokerStars’ UK sports betting offering only had football, tennis, basketball, ice hockey, rugby union, handball and volleyball markets, but has since expanded to offer American Football, Aussie Rules Football, badminton, baseball, boxing, golf, pesapallo, rugby league and snooker. Horse racing is expected to be added soon.
Offering sports betting to Republic of Ireland residents has not come cheap for PokerStars thanks to the Gambling (Amendment) Act 2015 that the Irish government passed in March 2015. PokerStars, and all other licensees, are required to pay €10,000 every two years for the renewable license and then pay a 1% tax on turnover on most bets, with this figure increasing to 15% on sports-related exchange bets.
The news did little to halt the slide of PokerStars’ parent company, Amaya Inc, share price. Shares in Amaya finished down 3.72% as trading ended on Wednesday evening and now cost $30.00 each. Amaya Inc shares have traded as high as $39.25 and low as $22.06 during the past 12 months.
On July 29, 2015, Amaya Inc gave a trading update to investors that revealed total registrations at PokerStars and Full Tilt grew by 1.9 million during the second quarter of the financial year. The same statement also placed a $10 million cost on its revenue derived from the taxes introduced in certain European Union jurisdictions including the Point of Consumption Tax in the UK.