It came to Casino Guardian team’s knowledge that Ireland could impose new taxes on gambling activities and e-cigarettes in its budget. The possible increase has been proposed by the government’s Department of Finance officials, who also suggested a possible increase to the VAT rate for the tourism industry.
The proposed measures were outline by the officials in a special briefing document which has been prepared for Paschal Donohoe at the time when the latter took over the Ministry of Finance from Michael Noonan.
According to specialists, the next budget of the country will not offer any free money to be distributed, as hinted in the above-mentioned document. The document’s text said that the available fiscal space was expected to be “tight” over the upcoming year, but a projection for it to ease from then on was also made.
Currently, one of the most likely ways that would help the Irish Government to raise money would be to increase the tax on tobacco to e-cigarettes. Currently, the tax that is collected of an €11 pack of normal cigarettes amounts to more than €8.62. According to the briefing document cited above, negative social attitude towards smoking has caused in decline in smoking, which on the other hand would result in a tax income decline, too. The tobacco tax registered in 2016 amounted to €1.1 billion.
Tobacco and e-cigarettes, however, are not the only market area that could be hit by increasing taxes. If the proposal of the officials who created the briefing document is taken more seriously, local gaming lovers could also be affected. As pointed out in the document, a review of Betting Duty is currently being carried out. The review is expected to provide Government officials with the opportunity to take into considerations various options for taxation, including increasing current tax rates, imposing special tax on local players or changing its regime to gross profits tax such as the one in the UK.
As we have previously reported, the gambling market situation in Ireland has been getting more and more heated lately, with Government officials considering to review the current tax system in the country in order to make it more up to date in order for it to answer the needs of the constantly expanding and developing gaming industry and the country.
At the end of July, the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) urged the country’s Government to review local betting taxes as soon as possible, in order to make sure that the tax system of Ireland is fair enough to the local gaming sector, and especially to the retail sector. The representatives of the organisation claimed that the retail bookmaking industry in Ireland has experienced a sharp decline over the past ten years, which was exactly why a fair betting tax system should be implemented.
On the other hand, the Irish Bookmakers Association was not the only organisation that called for a betting tax system review. At the beginning of August, the Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has called for a betting duty increase in the country, as well as for an increase of the commission on local operators’ gross profits. The national horse racing body shared a belief that the betting tax in the country should be increased from 1% to 2.5%. The authority also suggests that the extra charge should be distributed to players.