Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA)

Founded in April 2005, the IBA is the largest representative body of the bookmaking industry in Ireland.  Its membership comprises about 550 of the 884 betting shops in Ireland.

The Irish Bookmakers Association has a broad-based membership in that it represents major operators including Ladbrokes, Boylesports, Tully Bookmakers, The Track, Bamburys, Sean Graham and Bruce Betting, in addition to a strong mix of independent operators.

Licensed Betting Offices have seen their share of the overall national betting market has fall from 91% in 1999 to an estimated 40% in 2015. At the same time, telephone, internet, sites, betting exchanges, mobile betting and private members clubs have all grown substantially and are now estimated to be the biggest growth areas in the betting industry.  A similar phenomenon was evident in the UK before the introduction of Gross Profits Tax (GPT) there.

On average it is estimated that each office employs five/six people on a full-time or part-time basis. This translates into total employment of around 8,000 full-time or part-time jobs between shops and head offices. This is equivalent to almost 0.3% of total employment in the economy, and 0.6% of total private service sector employment. Source Jim Power M.Econ.Sc

Based on these numbers, the figures for 2014 are:

  • – Total Betting tax collected €26.1m
  • – Total PAYE/PRSI paid by betting shops €43.7m
  • – Total VAT €12.3m
  • – Total Rates €5.2m
  • – Corporation Tax €2.7m

Total Taxation contribution from the Irish Retail betting sector: €90,000,000

The IBA’s primary concern is that Irish Retail Bookmakers (LBOs) do not operate on a level playing field with the non-retail sector. Betting shops provide jobs in almost every town and village in Ireland, contribute to the local economy and have high fixed costs. Online and mobile operators are open for business 24/7 and compete inside every betting shop.  Most of them provide no Irish jobs, particularly those that operate outside of Ireland and don’t even have a head office based in Ireland.

Shops cannot compete on the range of products or speed of bet placement, due to restrictive archaic legislation which prevents them from availing of modern betting technologies.

We urgently call for a review of the restrictions to trade inside betting shops, and for the introduction of the Gambling Controll Bill.

Contact information 

Tel: 046 9557090


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