Ireland’s second biggest bookmaker, Boylesports, has issued a warning to staff, claiming that jobs at the company will be at risk as a result of the Irish government’s announcement on betting tax.
Last week, the Minister of Finance Paschal Donohoe announced that the government would be increasing the existing tax on betting revenue to 2% in a budget that was widely seen as damaging in the betting industry, with many stakeholders warning of dire consequences.
Now Dundalk-based operator Boylesports, which runs 250 betting shops in the country, has been added to the list of companies considering their next move following the announcement. According to reports in the Irish media, the operator is weighing up options regarding its retail properties, in an attempt to mitigate the effect of the tax rise.
The company is considering ways to lobby the government to prevent the law from being enacted and has issued a communication to all of its staff, stating that the company will be doing all it can to argue against the policy, but that they will also be taking steps to safeguard the business.
Speaking on behalf of the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) last week, Chairperson Sharon Byrne said that the government had introduced its new measures carelessly, and that its plan to raise around €50 million in betting tax income was a ‘fantasy target’. She also alleged that the Department of Finance had not consulted the betting industry before bringing the measures forward and predicted that there could be dire consequences for the retail sector of the industry:
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.”
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Andie Hughes is a UK-based freelance betting and gambling writer with over a decade of experience in the industry, having written for Betfair, ESPN, Boylesports, Sporting Life and various other popular betting sites. Contact Andie at email@example.com.