Irish lawmakers are contemplating a change of the Irish gambling laws in order to add an additional tax to help the faultering horse racing industry. After considering various recommendations, lawmakers seem to be in favor of raising the sports betting tax to 2% in order to prop the Irish horseracing industry.
Simon Coveney, the Minister for Agriculture, recently said that he agrees with the proposed tax increase on internet betting in Ireland and views it as a boon for the long-term future of the Irish horse racing industry.
“I am determined that we put sufficient revenue from betting tax into covering the entire fund of the horseracing industry. At the moment the betting tax is 1 percent and I would like to see that raised to 2 percent,” Minister Coveney said.
The tax hike proposal was originally put forward by the McCarthy Report which provided lawmakers with a complete overview of the future of the horse racing industry. If the proposed tax hike becomes law, it would provide enough funds to entirely finance the struggling Irish greyhound and horseracing industries.
Simon Coveney added: “once we deal with the issue of extending the tax to online betting, we should consider the rate. I consider the 1 percent rate to be low and I think it could be increased to help the exchequer and the industry. But I am also aware of the concerns of bookmakers.”
Since last December, after the budget was finally approved, it became clear that there will be adjustments in the tax rates of gambling companies including online casinos in Ireland. The introduction of 1% turnover tax on all online gambling, which was vehemently opposed by the internet gambling industry, was also discussed.
The latest trend of raising taxes as a means to stimulate growth could harm not only the gambling industry, but companies in different sectors of the economy as well. Similar situations have already taken place in other EU member states with disastrous consequences. Raising taxes leads to higher levels of unemployment and overall lower tax revenues – exactly the opposite of what the tax hike was originally intending to do.