A new report has found that the proposed doubling of the Irish betting tax could cost the government as much as €35 million in lost revenue.
The Irish gambling industry is bracing itself for turbulence next year following the decision of the Ministry of Finance to increase the country’s betting tax from 1 percent to 2 percent.
According to a report by Anthony Foley, an emeritus associate professor of economics, the tax rise could lead to significant job losses, and put over 400 bookmaker shops out of business. The report says that the tax changes will have a direct impact on smaller rural bookmakers.
Foley’s report claims that the government’s decision on betting tax has not taken into account the possible negative impact on existing tax revenue from the betting industry, including a reduction in income tax and the increase in unemployment that would result from widespread closures.
Lack of analysis
The report alleges that the tax increase was proposed without a thorough analysis on the potential impact on the sector, and suggested that due to the various negative effects, the losses produced by the increased tax could outweigh the predicted gains from a 100 percent rise.
The report was commissioned by the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) and speaking for the IBA, chairwoman Sharon Byrne, said that they hoped the report would highlight the lack of costing by the Department of Finance before the measure was introduced:
We are hoping that Minister Donohoe will see that the tax is flawed and might consider an amendment to bring in a more appropriate tax that can still bring in a lot more revenue for the Exchequer but in a fairer way that can keep the little guys open.”
Businessman showing concept of taxes paid by individuals and corporations image taken from shutterstock.com
Luke is originally from Auckland, New Zealand. However, he now resides in the north of England. He is a freelance journalist who enjoys covering the latest happenings in the gambling industry. Luke can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.