Small Bookies in Ireland May Receive a Tax Break
Lawmakers in Ireland have been taking a close look at the gambling industry. Reports indicate that gambling addiction here is worse than ever before. Interestingly, officials in the government are considering granting a tax break to bookies in Ireland.
The government is taking a unique stance here. On one hand, they’re working hard to crack down on illegal gambling and gambling addiction. On the other hand, they’re showing they can help small bookmakers out. What exactly is going on here?
Ireland’s New Stance on Land-Based and Online Gambling
As we just mentioned, Ireland has been dealing with some serious gambling issues lately. A report from the Irish Examiner states there are more than 45,000 pathological gamblers in this country. The government finally began to take action against this earlier in 2019.
In March, lawmakers announced that they were setting up a new gambling regulator. Most of this group’s focus will be to better regulate the internet gambling market. Despite having one of the biggest online gambling industries in the world, the government has taken very little steps to monitor the internet gaming that takes place.
There are a huge number of European online gambling sites in Ireland. Most of these websites are not actually regulated by the government. The new Irish regulator will create a legal framework for these websites to obtain a license and pay taxes.
Lawmakers here have proposed several new regulations lately. Just law week, a law to ban betting shops from offering lottery tickets was proposed. Now, officials are considering granting small bookies in Ireland a major tax break.
Lawmakers Consider Tax Break for Small Bookies in Ireland
This one came out of left field. Not many gambling analysts predicted that the government would make things any easier for gambling operators. For a number of reasons, however, the Irish government seems open to giving small-time bookmakers the chance to hold onto their money.
This country is discussing plans to allow a tax-free turnover of €2.5 million per year. This will mean that for gambling operators making less than €5 million per year, taxes will be lowered. The companies with more than €750 million in bets per year will see their tax rates doubled.
The goal is to help the government bring in more revenue. Regulation of the online gambling industry is still being established. Officials here need to squeeze as much money out of the legal gambling operators as they can, as quickly as possible.
Not long ago, Ireland’s Minister for Finance proposed doubling tax rates for all gambling companies in Ireland. Many individuals argued that doing this would cripple the small bookmakers struggling to gain a foothold in the industry. Now, it appears these raised tax rates will only affect the country’s top earners.
Issues With Ireland’s New Gambling Tax Plan
Not everyone feels that this plan will produce the desired effect. Several gambling analysts claim that with these new rules, the government will take in less money each year. If government officials agree with this assessment, the plan to grant a tax break for small bookies in Ireland will be scrapped.
Some experts suggest that Ireland raise taxes for the regulated online gambling sites currently operating while cutting taxes for land-based betting shops. Others feel this would be unfair to internet gambling companies. It would likely increase players gambling through unregulated sites, as well.
There are clearly some issues that the government is working to figure out. The country’s new gambling regulator is still being established, and new laws towards both land-based and online gambling are being proposed left and right.
Do you think a tax break for small bookies in Ireland makes sense? What else can the government do to earn more revenue? Let us know in the comment section below!
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