Irish bookmakers association looks to reduce tax for smaller operators

By Harrison Sayers
The Irish bookmakers association has sent in their review of the 2015 betting regime to remote bookmakers and betting exchanges for the Department of Finance. The review also looked to identify the potential effects on exchequer revenues and the bookmaking industry, including the remote sector. The IBA found that in order to secure the future of smaller operators the current 1% revenue tax should be addressed.

Sharon Byrne, Chairperson, Irish Bookmakers Association stated in the review: “In recognition of the severe disadvantage retail operators have had for many years, and to save thousands of jobs, the Tax Strategy Group should consider lowering the 1% tax rate for shops with turnover of €2m or less per year, and this should be financed by using part of the increased receipts from the extension of the tax net.”

The IBA go on to explain that the funds could be covered by the inclusion of lottery and other excluded games: “All sectors of gambling should be included in the betting tax net (some activities such as the national lottery and the Tote are still excluded), the tax regime should support the hard-pressed retail sector because of its economic, regional and employment roles.

“The sector still provides a significant economic contribution with regionally spread employment, over 8,000 jobs and tax receipts of €65 million.”

The IBA will be hoping that the review will be taken into consideration by Minister of State Eoghan Murphy who had initially asked for the research to be compiled.

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