Irish Bookmakers Rejoice as Budget 24 Postpones Betting Levy Increase

Sportsbooks/Bookmakers Legislation Business
Colm Phelan

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Colm Phelan

Digital PR Manager

Last Updated on 14th March 2024, 07:22 AM

Irish Bookmakers Rejoice as Budget 24 Postpones Betting Levy Increase

The proposed increase in the betting levy has been postponed as the details of the Irish budget 2024 were revealed during the week. Both physical and online entities are liable for the tax, from sports betting to casino sites

There had been calls for a 2-3% rise in the betting levy from various politicians, which the Irish Betting Association had heavily disputed after the previous increase in 2019 cost hundreds of jobs across 60 shop closures of independent bookmakers nationwide.

"If the tax goes up again, they will be in deeper trouble. Hopefully, we have provided enough data and facts to demonstrate how another increase at a retail level is just not sustainable," Sharon Byrne, chair of the Irish Betting Association, previously stated.

Labour Support

The increase was initially supported by the Labour Party - specifically Aodhán Ó Ríordáin - and also had received support from the Minister for Sport, Catherine Martin.

She stated previously: “But I would of course support any measures such as an increase in the betting levy, which could in turn feed to increase funding for sport more generally."

However, when Michael McGrath announced Ireland's upcoming budgetary plans for 2024, there was no mention of an increased gambling levy.

In a previous letter addressed to the previous Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, the IBA highlighted how damaging an increase could be for the industry.

'Plea For Survival'

In a statement in 2022, the IBA said; "We cannot emphasise strongly enough how betting shops, employing thousands of people in most towns and villages across the country, are at a critical juncture for survival and any increase in taxation will force many to cease trading."

The statement continued, "We recognise the magnitude of this call, but it represents a plea for survival from many long-term operators and thousands of employees, with the hope that the Irish retail indigenous sector as we know it can be saved."

The IBA represents longstanding bookmakers such as Paddy Power and Betfair, both owned by Flutter Entertainment, alongside BoyleSports and Ladbrokes. This news means these entities, alongside other chains and independent bookmakers, are safe from an increase until the end of 2024.

The horse racing (€76m) and greyhound racing (€19m) racing fund have increased 4.4% for 2024 in comparison to 2023. These funds come directly from betting tax proceeds. 

Meet The Author

8 Years
Colm Phelan
Colm Phelan
Digital PR Manager Digital PR Manager

Colm Phelan has spent several years working in the iGaming industry and has plenty of experience when it comes to writing, researching and rigorously testing online casinos and sportsbooks. While Colm has invested a lot of his time into the digital marketing world but his other passions include poker and a variety of sports including golf, NFL and football.

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