We’ll say this for those killjoys in Ireland’s Dept. of Finance… They sure know how to ruin a perfectly good Arthur’s Day. Seems Ireland is mulling a proposal to collect 2% of horse bettors’ winnings as part of their betting tax revamp expected in December. Paddy Power and Boylesports, who already pay a 1% levy on all bets placed in their shops, believe the proposed punter penalty will simply encourage bettors to avoid the shops entirely and take their action online. But the Finance boys have anticipated that dodge, which is why they’re trying to come up with a mechanism by which they could tax all online operators, not just those with Emerald Isle roots.
Of course, the whole point of all this taxin’ and levyin’ is supposed to be the shoring up of the domestic horse and dog racing industries, but since 2008, the collected funds actually go into the general revenue pool, meaning there’s no guarantee that the money won’t be diverted to the vomit cleanup crew that will be sorely needed after all the horse punters drown their sorrows in a dozen pints of Sir Arthur’s black gold. Ah, isn’t synergy grand?