Irish government considers tax break for bookies

The government of Ireland is considering a measure that would allow tax-free turnover of €2.5 million a year.

Ireland.- The government of Ireland is studying the possibility of allowing bookies a tax-free turnover of €2.5 million a year. This move would help smaller, independent operators, which are struggling after the betting tax doubled earlier this year.

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, doubled the betting tax earlier this year to 2% of turnover. The measure received the green light after lobbying from the horse racing industry, which argued that their businesses provide a mainstay for online and high street bookies, Irish Times reports.

Changing the regime and levying the tax only on turnover over €2.5 million would help the small operators. The Irish Bookmakers Association said last year that doubling the tax rate would jeopardise those operators and put them out of business.

Calculations from tax strategy groups show that introducing such a measure would cut the turnover tax to 1% for operators with a turnover of €5 million a year. It would leave it at 1.99% for big companies that make €750 million or more in bets annually.

Moreover, this measure would also cut the betting tax collected by the state by €3.4 million in 2020.

Ireland closer to a new gambling regulator

Ireland’s Government recently said that it wants an independent gambling regulator in place by the end of the current year. The independent body will likely count with a staff of 100 people.

The aim of this attempt is to clamp down on gambling, tackle gambling addiction, underage betting and match-fixing. The independent regulator would also be in charge of setting a new online gambling regulation.

Ireland’s government believes that without an independent body, there is no prospect of progressing modern licensing and regulation of the industry, Irish Examiner reported. The gambling regulator in Ireland is set to be funded mainly by bookmakers.

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