BUSINESS

Irish budget includes tax for bookmakers

TAGs: bookmakers, Ireland

irish-budgetEver since the Irish decided not to import those small leprechaun dolls, the economy in the country has taken a nosedive and luckily it’s not a country known for huge noses otherwise they’d have problems. One industry that operates in Ireland, and very successfully it must be said, is the gambling industry around anything from horses to whether lucky heather is actually lucky.

The government’s budget released last week has taken note of the industry’s performance, and in particular probably that of Paddy Power – the company that is now bigger than the Bank of Ireland. Fact.

In his budget speech last week, the country’s Minister for Finance told his peers that they intend to impose a tax on all bookmakers taking bets from Irish customers. He also confirmed that betting exchanges would be included within these proposals, although the calculation of tax will be slightly different.

It’s unclear now whether this duty will apply to bookmakers with a physical presence in Ireland only. If that’s the case, we could see an exodus of bookmakers from the country to offshore venues.

The other side of it will be if they decide to take tax from any bookmakers taking bets in Ireland, so it will be very interesting to see how it all plays out. The government really should have started growing that lucky heather earlier this year – wouldn’t have encountered any of these problems.

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