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15/7/2015 - Dept of Social Protection launch report on The Impact of Gambling on Individuals and Society in Ireland

Minister Joan Burton attended the launch of a report she had commissioned into the Impact of Gambling on Individuals and Society in Ireland on July 15th 2015.

The IBA welcomes its publication. It recommends as we do that legislation should be updated and further research commissioned in this area. It also recommmends that a National strategy for service provision be implemented, with funding for same coming from across the industry.

Retail betting operators take reponsible gambling very seriously, and we are fully committed to providing a responsible, safe and enjoyable leisure experience for our customers. We will continue to fund the excellent services provided by the Dunlewey Centre, to train all our staff, provide information for persons affected by gambling, including family or friends, and to offer self-exclusion facilities in every shop.

This is an important and evolving process, and we commit to continue to build on best practice.

To read the report, please click here.


Ladbrokes are a very significant employer and contributor to the Irish Exchequer, and have today announced that they have successfully applied to the High Court in Dublin to seek the appointment of an interim examiner and to be provided with the protection of the court under the examinership procedure for their Irish retail operation. It is a very worrying time for all of Ladbrokes staff in Ireland, and we hope the examiner will find a way to preserve as many of the jobs as possible.

Sharon Byrne, Chairperson of the IBA commented "This is a significant event for retail betting in Ireland, which highlights the difficult trading environment betting shops are trying to survive in. With high fixed costs, rising media costs, unique tax on turnover, and international operators competing on mobile devices in every shop, traditional bookmaking is on its knees. Having a very large experienced operator in the retail betting industry such as Ladbrokes, and their years of experience and economies of scale unable to survive in its current form, it leaves little hope for smaller operators."

Antiquated legislation, restrictions on trade, high rents, excessive taxation and rising media costs need to be addressed. The Irish Bookmakers Association will be presenting the Irish Government with a series of measures which are needed to protect thousands of jobs in the sector over the coming weeks.

The number of betting shops in Ireland has dropped from 1365 in 2008, to 952 in January 2015. Most of these being Independent operators, and each had employed approx 5 people. This has caused over 2000 jobs to be lost in Irish Betting shops, and with an effective taxation rate of over 100%, there will be many more lost.

UPDATED 17/4/15: Minister Noonan orders commencment of Betting (Amendment) Act 2015

Betting (Amendment) Act 2015

Minister Noonan has ordered the commencement of the Betting (Ammendment) Act 2015, formerly the Betting (Amendment) Act 2013. This move is most welcome, as retail operators have been struggling to compete with online and mobile operators as they escaped the betting tax net for a very long time.

Taxing online operators has proven to be a difficult task for several Governments, but Minister Noonan was determined to make it happen during his term of office. As the wording of the legislation currently stands, it will certainly tax online operators who are known to the Government. However, several areas in the Act need to be addressed as operators who do not apply for an Irish licence can avoid the tax in several ways, with no apparent retrospective penalties for doing so. Certain customers transactions could also avoid triggering the Irish tax depending on the technical setup of their connection. Until these anomalies are addressed, Irish companies who employ thousands of people in Ireland will be at a competitive disadvantage to unlicensed operators.

UPDATED 21/1/15: Evening and Easter Sunday opening GRANTED in amendment to Finance Bill

Evening and Easter Sunday opening contained in amendment to Finance bill, Betting Amendment bill no longer delayed

Betting (Amendment) Bill 2013

The amendments for the Finance bill 2014 have been published and enacted, which means Irish betting shops can open after 6.30pm during Autumn and Winter months, and also on Easter Sunday.

This is a major boost for retail betting operators, as the part-time staff that were let go every Septebmer will have steady work year round. The amount of evenings the shops will stay open remains to be seen, as there are some nights with very little content. But operators have the choice now, and that is very important, particularly to those with no online or mobile presence. The betting amendment bill itself is no longer on hold, and the Attorney General is now working on the bill to prepare its presentation to the Seanad. Once completed in the Seanad, it then goes to the Dail. It is then up to the Revenue Commissioners to ensure the licencing application process is ready to go, and Ireland for the first time will apply a betting duty to online and mobile operators.

Click here to download our Betting Amendment bill briefing document

UPDATED 21/1/15: Gambling Control Bill 2013 - makes B list on Dail legislative schedule for 2015

The Gambling Control act was published on July 15th 2013. It is supposed to repeal the 1931 Betting act, and 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act. It is combining both of these acts in the new Gambling Control Act to regulate the entire gambling industry in Ireland. A lot of work has been done by the department on creating a bill to regulate the entire sector, but unfortunately it did not make the A list for the Dail legislative schedule for 2015. This means that the chances of the bill being progressed this year are very very low

The bill had been scheduled for publication in Mid 2015 but the date is now unknown

Read more about the Gambling bill which will regulate the entire industry ranging from betting shops, arcades, and casinos to online betting sites and exchanges. Click here.....

Taxation Contribution per shop:
As an illustrative example, an average licensed betting office makes the following contribution to the national exchequer and the local authority in which it is located:
  • Turnover €2,000,000
  • Gross Profit (@11%)€220,000
  • Betting Tax (@ 1%) €20,000
  • Gross Profit €200,000
  • Average Costs €170,000
  • Taxes (VAT, PAYE/PRSI, other) €46,607
  • Net Profit €6,250
  • If additional 1% tax Loss -€13,750

Under 18's - Look 21!
The IBA have created several posters for betting shops to display which prevents the admission of persons under the age of 18 onto the premises.

I would urge all members to be extra vigilant, and to operate a 'Look 21' policy. This would require staff to ask all persons that look under the age of 21 for id, to ensure they are over 18.
Please contact me for copies.

DSAC - Dunlewey Addiction Services
The DSAC Freephone is up and running now, and members are advised to ensure all promotional material relating to this service is displaying the correct Freephone number: 1800 93 67 25

I will be organising a DSAC training day in the near future. If you are interested in attending, or would like a refresher course for your staff, please contact me.

Logo for Dunlewey Addiction Services

Visit the Dunlewey website to read about the addiction services provided across Ireland

Problem Gambling and Addiction Services, Irish Charity providing Phone and Face to Face Counselling sessions

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