Irish operators criticise taxes

New tax policies could lead to business crises, according to Irish bookmakers.

Ireland.- The gaming sector in Ireland has spoken against a new tax proposal that could double the amount paid by operators. The Irish Bookmakers Association has criticised the new measure arguing that authorised betting shops would have to close and lots of Irish residents would lose their jobs.

The horse racing industry would enter an economic crisis, if the government finally decides to double the tax payments. Currently, the betting tax is set on one percent, but the new regime would set it on two percent, meaning that the total amount would increase from US$58 million to US$118 million, as reported by the Irish Times.

“This is a tax on turnover and is in addition to all the other taxes they already pay,” commented Sharon Byrne, chair of the Irish Bookmakers Association, to the local newspaper. The measure was suggested by the horse racing industry to the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

The organisation, that represents licensed operators from Ireland, also believes that the new tax would lead to job losses. Ireland hosts 851 betting shops, which could end their operations if the new tax takes effect. The sector has experienced several tax increases on the last 10 years. According to the Irish Bookmakers Association, a betting shop’s average profit is only US$10.4k to US$11k after all taxes and expenses.

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