Irish Dáil to review IBA backed betting tax proposals

Sharon Byrne – IBA Ireland

The Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) is set to review a proposal to replace the Treasury approved ‘doubling of betting turnover duty’ – inbound for January 2019.

Independent Kerry province TD Michael Healy-Rae has proposed a number of alternative amendments to the Finance Bill which are set to be debated later this week.

The amendments, which are backed by the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA), seek to introduce a wholesale revamp to Irish betting duties through a 1o% gross profits tax on retail bookmakers, alongside a 20% rate for licensed online incumbents.

The IBA believes that the proposals could deliver circa €25 million to the Irish Exchequer, whilst safeguarding betting industry jobs by avoiding shop closures.

Leading the IBA, Sharon Byrne Chief Executive has branded the government’s turnover tax rise from 1-to-2% as an unworkable solution that could lead to 400 betting shops being closed with 1,500 job losses.

Reacting to October’s budget announcement, Boylesports – Ireland’s second largest bookmaker – announced that it could see up to 50 betting ship closures, which are being assessed ahead of 2019.

Furthermore, Ladbrokes Ireland declared that it would ‘likely terminate’ its Irish on-course racing bookmaker activity, adjusting to new market conditions.

The Irish Independent reports that a number of TDs are willing to back the amendments as the provisions deliver on much-needed reforms for the Irish betting sector.

Furthermore, it has been reported that Fianna Fail (The Republican Party) will move against the betting tax increase unless the Fine Gael government and its minority Independent Alliance partners can prove that they have carried effective economic analysis on their upcoming tax charge.

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