Irish Bookmakers to get tax relief in 2020

Paschal Donohoe, the Finance Minister of Ireland, has confirmed that in 2020 bookmakers across the country are set to receive a €50,000 a year relief from the 2 per cent tax levied on betting in the Republic which is hoped will support the country’s independent bookmaking sector.

Ireland’s gambling sector has faced an uphill battle in competing against larger betting operators such as Paddy Power, Boylesports and Ladbrokes following the doubling of the betting tax from 1 to 2 per cent last year. While that move is expected to generate an estimated €95m in 2019 in taxes, several local bookmakers have had to close their doors as a result.

Following the new rate’s passage in November of last year, the Finance Minister of Ireland Paschal Donohoe agreed to an immediate review of the tax. In June of this year, Donohoe said he had been working with the independent bookmaking sector to provide an alternative proposal.

Meanwhile, work on the Gambling Control Bill is ongoing. The Government has previously said that the Bill, which will establish a new, dedicated regulatory authority, is unlikely to be presented before 2020. the new body will oversee licensing and enforcement activities, as well as establish advertising standards, customer monitoring and customer protection measures for the industry.

Provisional figures from the Health Service Executive, the body with responsibility for the provision of health and personal social services, has recently revealed the number of people in Ireland treated for problem gambling reached a record high of 257 in 2018, the highest number since adding gambling to ‘problem substances’ data in 2011.

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