Ireland Planning to Increase Gambling Tax for 2019Published October 5, 2018 by Mike P
Ireland is planning to double the rate of gambling tax. All will be revealed by the finance minister on 9 October 2018.
A variety of media outlets are starting to report that the Republic of Ireland’s finance minster, Paschal Donohoe, is planning to double the current 1% level of gambling tax. Ultimately, it is expected that Donohoe will make the announcement as part of the government’s unveiling of a wider 2019 fiscal plan on 9 October 2018.
At present, gambling operators are required to pay a 1% tax on betting turnover, but the move up to 2% is estimated to raise a further €50 million in additional revenue for the Irish government. For the most part, media expectations suggest that the new revenue will go toward supporting the Irish horse racing industry and also treatment for problem gambling.
Bookmakers Warn of Struggles
However, such a move is not supported by the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA). In speaking to the media, the IBA has warned that approximately 35% of Ireland’s betting shops will be at risk of closure. Right now, there are 800 land-based betting shops are open in Ireland, having fallen from greater than 1,300 more than 10 years ago.
The IBA had been of the opinion that the 1% gambling tax was adequate. Now, though, the IBA is warning that some 1,500 jobs could be at risk if more than a third of the predicted betting shop closures end up happening. Over the past decade, IBA said that more than 2,500 jobs have already been lost.
Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is much more receptive to the impending change in taxation, given that the organisation expects a portion of the funds being used to aid the sport. Back in 2017, HRI asked for a larger increase to the gambling tax, with the organisation calling for 2.5%. Nevertheless, IBA believes that the move will completely wipe out profits for independent betting shops.