The Irish Government has recently received some proposals regarding the increase of the 1% tax rate on the revenue the country’s betting operators pay at the moment. However, the finance minister of Ireland, Paschal Donohoe, has dismissed those proposals.
Mr. Donohoe has received three proposals in total from the Department of Finance. Each one of those proposals can be potential raisers of approximately 50 million euro each from the locally-regulated companies.
The first and most popular proposal from those three was, in fact, opting to increase the tax rate to 2%. Then it was proposed to tax the bettor. However, the second option was seen as a possibility for the punters to seek and find alternative and untaxed forms of betting and that would lead to unlicensed operators.
The third and last proposal suggested the gross profits of the bookmaking companies be subjected to taxation. To this, those bookmaking firms replied: “There is no doubt that a move to gross profits would be of advantage to business as the level of tax payable will change in response to margins.
“From a revenue point of view there is less stability around the yield of the tax and it is more susceptible to changes in the trade environment.”
The Minister dismissed the last proposal stating that a lot of work is required to be done before it can be actually enforced.
To all of this, thirteen betting companies have filed complaints, with what they stated that the whole thing could easily damage the industry and the market and it would definitely lead the smaller companies to close down and there would also be major job losses at the best of the situation
Minister Donohoe said: "A total of 13 submissions were received.
"Of these, eight were from the betting/gaming industry, two were from the horse racing industry, one from the addiction advocacy service and two from individuals. Follow-on meetings were held with six of these at their request."
Paddy Power Betfair, for instance, had operating profits of £91m (€102m) in the first quarter of 2017.
The submission explained: "There is no doubt that a move to gross profits would be of advantage to business as the level of tax payable will change in response to margins.
"From a revenue point of view there is less stability around the yield of the tax and it is more susceptible to changes in the trade environment."
The minister was also told that if extra revenue was raised from betting taxes, there was an expectation it would go to support the horse and greyhound industry.
"In the context of the historical link between betting revenues and the funding of the … industry, any increase in betting receipts will be seen by some in the industry as being earmarked for the Horse and Greyhound Fund," the submission said.
The Department of Finance had to respond to the whole charade and issued the following statement: “The Minister received a number of submissions for possible inclusion in Budget 2018. He took the decision that any potential actions on foot of the Betting Tax Review should be considered as part of Budget 2019.”