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Ireland Set to Increase Gambling Tax

- October 9, 2018 By Riley Wilson -

The long-awaited announcement represents a part of the government's fiscal plan for 2019.

The long-awaited announcement represents a part of the government’s fiscal plan for 2019.

According to numerous reports by media outlets in the Republic of Ireland, the Department of Finance is seriously considering an increase in the current gambling tax.

The country’s finance minister Paschal Donohoe has already announced the current gambling tax, which is set at 1%, will be doubled.

Doubling the Current Tax

The long-awaited announcement will be made today and represents a part of the government’s fiscal plan for 2019.

At this moment, all gambling operators doing business in the Republic of Ireland are required to pay a 1% tax on their betting turnovers. The estimates say the proposed increase to 2% could bring additional €50 million to the state coffers, which would be used to further support the country’s horse racing industry, but also programs for dealing with problem gambling.

But, not all are pleased with such a move.

The Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) has already voiced its concerns over the government’s proposal and said it will not support any increase in tax whatsoever. According to IBA, more than a third of the country’s betting shops will face the possibility of going out of business if the move goes through as planned.

A Dangerous Move

At this moment, a total of 800 land-based betting shops are operating across Ireland, which is around 40% less than the number of shops that were opened a decade ago.

Speaking about the current situation, the IBA pointed out the 1% gambling tax was an adequate one. The IBA has warned the government’s move put nearly 1,500 jobs in danger, which represents a third of the total number of employees currently working in the country’s betting shops. Over the past 10 years, more than 2,500 people have lost their jobs in the industry.

The IBA firmly believes the move will leave independent betting shops without any significant profits.

On the other hand, Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is definitely more willing to accept the new proposal, especially since the organisation is looking to get a portion of the funds, which will be used to help the sport.

HRI asked for a tax increase last year, suggesting it should be raised to 2.5%.

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