Fears about job losses in the betting industry have been on the rise after reports of doubling the betting tax in the Budget.
Irish Bookmakers have been concerned as betting tax could increase from 1% to 2% in the Budget next month.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is reportedly in favour of increasing the tax despite the fact that he wasn’t in last year’s Budget.
The increase will give the government an extra €50m.
A source told the Irish Daily Star: “The extra revenue taken in could be ring-fenced to fund the liked of gambling addiction services, and to fund the horse racing industry in Ireland.”
But the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) fears that the tax increase could result in major job losses in the industry.
Betting shops in the country have seen a decrease from over 1,300 to just 800 in the past decade.
IBA spokesperson Sharon Byrne told the Star: “If the government was to double the betting tax now it would make many independent bookmakers unavailable.
“Most of these bookmakers are working off very tight margins and 1% increase in the betting tax would wipe out their profits.”
Ms Byrne was also worried that it might drive punters to illegal gambling.
She added: “We have already worked hard to stamp this out but an increase in betting tax on punters would bring it back to the fore.”
Source: Irish Mirror