Irish government reviewing tax options on smaller players

Seeking to protect smaller industry incumbents, the Irish Ministry of Finance is reported to be considering removing tax duties on bookmakers who generate a turnover below the €2.5 million a year mark.

The Irish Times reports that Finance Minister Paschal Donohue is prepared to listen to the concerns presented by the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) with regards to taxation and its impact on wider Irish stakeholders, in particular, those working within horseracing and breeding disciplines.

In previous Dáil updates, Donohue has detailed that the Fine Gael government will maintain its much protested 2% turnover tax on bookmaker revenues, despite warnings of significant job losses across the Irish betting sector.

Countering criticisms of Ireland’s new gambling regime, Fine Gael is reported to be considering introducing a new tax-free turnover threshold of €2.5 million.

New betting tax brackets would see the Irish treasury introduce a ‘1% turnover tax on bookmakers with a turnover of €5 million a year’. However, the government would maintain its controversial 2% turnover on bigger operators generating €750 million in wager annually.

Treasury calculations report that the introduction of the €2.5 million tax-free threshold, would cut industry tax collections by around €3.5 million.

Supporting industry reforms and the sustainability of Irish betting, the IBA has propositioned a revamped betting tax regime that would involve online operators paying twice the tax paid by bookmakers.

However, an assessment of the IBA’s tax proposal indicates that it would breach EU common market rules on competition and state aid funding of businesses.

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