The Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) is warning that a proposed new 2% tax on winning bets, which they think is going to be introduced in the budget, could lead to the loss of thousands of jobs:
Winnings tax would shut 33% of betting shops | Irish ExaminerTHOUSANDS of jobs would be lost and a third of betting shops would close if a proposed 2% tax on winning bets is introduced in December’s budget, bookmakers have warned.
Industry and political sources believe that Finance Minister Brian Lenihan is likely to favour the introduction of such a controversial measure given the Government must seek at least €3 billion in cuts to its 2011 budget. It is estimated that such a tax could raise around €60 million a year.
While punters would face a 2% tax on all winning bets, it is anticipated that many betting shop owners would absorb the charge on payouts in order to prevent gamblers switching to online and telephone betting operators based outside Ireland who are not taxed. Irish bookmakers currently pay a 1% duty on turnover.
The Irish Bookmakers’ Association last night expressed concern that a further tax on the betting industry would drive punters to overseas betting services and result in the closure of one-third of existing betting shops in the Republic.
"We believe that 400 of the 1,200 would shut up overnight. It would kill jobs in the industry," said IBA chairwoman Sharon Byrne. The sector employs 6,500 people.
Anyone here work in the betting industry or in a bookies? Do you think that the IBA is correct or is it just scaremongering?