Irish bookmakers air concerns over potential tax rise

The Irish Bookmakers’ Association (IBA) has hit out at plans to increase the betting tax rate in the country, saying that the move would lead to the closure of shops and widespread job losses.

According to the Irish Times newspaper, the Irish horse racing industry recently approached Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe with a suggestion to double the current 1% rate to 2%.

The move could increase the tax take from racing betting to €100m ($117.4m).

However, Sharon Byrne, chair of the IBA, has said the proposed tax rise would be on turnover, rather than profit, and would in turn threaten the future of betting shops across Ireland.

Byrne said a shop with a turnover of €2m generates a profit of between €9,000 and €9,500 after all tax and expenses, and with the new 2% rate, betting tax would be calculated at €20,000.

“This is a tax on turnover and is in addition to all the other taxes they already pay,” Byrne told Newstalk Breakfast.

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