With effect from 1 January 2015, a new VAT regime will apply to the provision of telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services to consumers located in the EU. The latter includes the provision of "games, including games of chance and gambling games".
The new regime involves deeming these services to be supplied in the Member State in which the consumer is located. The VAT rules applying in that Member State will determine whether the services are subject to VAT and the rate of VAT applicable.
This could result in a significant change in the VAT treatment of gaming services provided to Irish consumers. Under current general VAT rules where gaming services are provided on-line to Irish consumers the services are deemed to be supplied in the country of establishment of the service provider. This can mean that no VAT is applicable if there is a VAT exemption, or a low rate of VAT may apply (compared to 23% in Ireland).
In Ireland gaming services (which are generally only permitted in Private Members Clubs) are subject to VAT at 23%. With the introduction of the new VAT regime in January 2015, all service providers, irrespective of where they are established, will need to account for Irish VAT at 23% for gaming services provided to consumers located in Ireland.