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Ireland boosts tax revenue by cracking down unlicensed gambling machines

Niji Narayan

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Las Vegas slot machine, photographed in June 2006 by Yamaguchi先生- commons.wikimedia.org
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Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, revealed that the country has collected over €1 million (US$1.15 million) in taxes in 2017 as part of its crackdown on unlicensed gambling machines illegal casinos collected that were offering. The Office of the Revenue Commissioners collected these amounts by forcing the operators to legitimise the machines and obtain licenses.

In 2016, 6088 machines were licensed, giving the Revenue office €1.8 million (US$ 2.07 million) in tax money. The number skyrocketed last year to 9612, resulting in €2.7 million (US$3.11 million) being collected.

The Revenue office launched a national project last year that focused on the amusement and gaming machine sector. That project has resulted in a significant amount of locations being sent enforcement letters, advising them to either remove their machines or face seizures and fines.

A representative for the Office of Revenue Commissioners indicated that there had been over 300 “interventions” as a result of the project in response to a lack of compliance with regulations. Thanks to the interventions, more than €1.1 million (US$1.27 million) was collected. According to the representative, the Revenue office is “alert to, and proactive in addressing, the risks posed by the gaming and amusement sector.” He further stated, “Using a range of compliance interventions the project, which is operating on a national basis, has achieved a significant increase in tax and licensing compliance.”

The representative also indicated that the Revenue office has not relented in its pursuit of illegal operations. He told The Journal, “This project is ongoing and for that reason no further details of the operation can be provided at this time. However, I would like to assure you that Revenue is intent on addressing all forms of licensing non-compliance in the gaming and amusement sector.”

Gaming machines, per the Finance Act of 1975, must have a valid “Excise license” issued by the DOR. If a machine is available for play and does not have the proper license displayed, the operator can have the machine(s) removed. The current “intervention” programme includes routine visits to locations in an effort to verify the licenses are in order. If a license is not found, the machine(s) are confiscated and fines levied against the owner of the establishment.

Source: calvinayre.com

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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AGTech announces revenue report of 2018

Niji Narayan

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AGTech announces revenue report of 2018
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AGTech Holdings Limited announced its final results for the last year, revealing a profit of approximately HK$317.1 million (US$40.4 million). The results were up from a loss of HK$302.2 million in the prior year period.

Revenue of the group, however, was down 44.2 per cent year-on-year to approximately HK$168.6 million.

The main revenue contributions were from lottery hardware, lottery games, and systems, provision of distribution and ancillary services, games and entertainment business in the PRC.

The decrease in revenue was caused by an HK$86.0 million decrease in revenue from its games and entertainment division and a decrease in sales of lottery hardware of approximately HK$60.3 million.

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GVC confirms departure of Lee Feldman

Niji Narayan

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GVC confirms departure of Lee Feldman
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GVC Holdings is seeking a new Chairman, as incumbent Lee Feldman is preparing to announce his formal departure from the FTSE100 betting group. Feldman has been a GVC governance advisor since 2004 and was appointed corporate Chairman in 2008, becoming a key stakeholder in the firm’s aggressive M&A expansion strategy and corporate financing structures.

The news of the departure comes amid GVC investor backlash at Feldman and Chief Executive Kenneth Alexander having offloaded a combined 3 million of company shares at discounted price. This drawn the criticism from GVC investors, having shrunk the firm’s shareprice to 519p and further being branded as showing a “lack of confidence by leadership” on GVC’s long-term prospects.

GVC maintains that Feldman will be leaving the betting group, as part of City governance guidelines obliging FTSE Chairmanships to last no-longer than nine-years. The corporate governance had begun an accelerated process to find Feldman’s successor.

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Smarkets announces strengthened executive team

George Miller

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Smarkets announces strengthened executive team
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Smarkets, one of the world’s largest betting exchange and prediction market platforms, has this morning announced a strengthened executive team.

Robin Harrison, a former engineering team lead at the company, has re-joined the company as Chief Technology Officer after a year in the role of Head of Engineering at Asto, a fintech startup backed by global bank Santander.

Meanwhile, Tom Hardman and Céline Crawford have been promoted to Chief Operations Officer and Chief Communications Officer respectively.

Hardman, who formerly held the title of Head of Business Operations, is one of Smarkets’s longest-serving employees having joined in 2010 after graduating from Oxford University. During his time at the company, he has overseen many areas including finance, legal and customer support.

Crawford has been with Smarkets since 2015 after working in the banking and communication sectors for over a decade at companies including finnCap and Commerzbank.

Smarkets have also hired Chris Baldacchino as Chief Compliance Officer. He joins after holding the same position at Hero Gaming, having previously been COO at the Malta-based firm.

The quartet join CEO and Founder Jason Trost on the company’s executive team.

Trost said: “I’m delighted to welcome Robin and Chris to the company, as well as adding two of our most dedicated employees, Céline and Tom, to the executive team.

“Robin, having been a team lead at Smarkets previously, is well-placed to develop and advance our class-leading product further, while Chris’s industry expertise will be invaluable as we look to expand to new territories, such as the emerging US market and other European countries.

“Both Céline and Tom are integral employees who have been with the company for many years and fully deserve their promotions, having played a big part in our recent success.”

The C-suite announcement comes shortly after Smarkets revealed that it had over £150m of trading volume on its exchange during the recent Cheltenham Festival, with all-time records broken for concurrent users on both the company’s web and app platforms. Read more at smrkts.co/chelt19

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