Today’s announcement that the betting tax has doubled has just signed P45s for over 1500 jobs in the independent bookmaking sector, the majority in rural areas.

It is the final blow for a sector of the industry that had already been in steep decline. Only 200 Independent shops survived the recession, with 450 closed over the last 8 years.  Increasing the betting tax to 2% makes the majority of these remaining shops unviable, forces long standing family businesses into liquidation and creates totally unnecessary job losses across the country.

We have long advised that this proposal carries significant risk and that it will fail to achieve the fantasy €50m that the Independent Alliance claimed. The instigators of this retrograde step have failed to either consult with or understand our industry and have shown complete disregard for the holistic nature of this issue by not factoring in the new costs and reducing revenue in the form of declining PRSI, VAT and ultimately turnover tax associated with these  closures.  It also ignores the revenue that will be lost to black market operators who will now thrive in areas where licensed bookmakers have to close.

Sharon Byrne, Chairperson of the Irish Bookmakers Association said;Sharon Byrne, Chairperson of Irish Bookmakers Association

“Already since the Budget measures were announced, I have spoken to a number of small independent bookmakers, some of whom have been in business for more than 40 years, who now believe they have no option but to let their staff go and close their doors. We predict that there will be 300 shops closed when the tax is enacted with the loss of at least 1500 jobs.

It is extremely disappointing that the Government conceded to this demand by politicians who never engaged with the industry or understood the profound effect a turnover tax can have on so many jobs. As an industry we will continue to search for a way to address this regressive tax on jobs and businesses.”