Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe was informed that the “opportune time” had come to double Ireland’s betting tax before his inclusion of the measure in the country’s budgetary bill for 2019.
The proposed tax increase from 1 to 2 percent-the first tax increase of its kind since 1975 – has been met by fierce opposition from the Irish bookmakers, to the extent that the department of finance has pledged to review the potential impact of the measure prior to its implementation next year.
But in recently disclosed documents, it appears that Donohoe’s advisors had been adamant that 2019 was an apt time for the tax hike.
“Implementing betting tax increases prior to 2015 would have run a significant risk of simply undermining domestic bookmakers,” they wrote in their departmental submission to the minister. “But given that remote operators and betting intermediaries are now well embedded in the scope of the betting tax regime, it may be an opportune time to consider rate increases.”