Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (156, 162)

Brendan Griffin


156. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4969/19]

View answer

Michael Healy-Rae


162. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the betting tax rate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5087/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 156 and 162 together.

The increase in the betting duty rate from 1% to 2%, and the betting intermediary duty rate from 15% to 25%, came into effect on 1 January 2019. It is too early to draw any conclusions on the impact of these increases.

Receipts from betting duty represented less than 1% of all excise receipts in 2017 and this is also likely to be the case in for 2018. In addition, unlike other excisable commodities, there is no VAT applied on betting transactions. I have outlined why I consider the betting sector needs to make a fair contribution to the Exchequer.

In any discussion on betting duty, we must acknowledge the raised public consciousness of the problem of gambling in society. While problem gambling can result in the problem gambler, and their family, bearing the severest of economic and of course personal costs, the social costs of problem gambling can extend to their employers and to public institutions in the health, welfare and justice systems, such costs ultimately borne by taxpayers. I have outlined my view that this needs to be better reflected within the betting duty regime.

During the course of the Finance Bill process I agreed to review an alternative proposal put forward by the betting sector following the announcement of increases in betting duty in Budget 2019, and I acknowledge that small independent bookmakers may have difficulty competing with larger bookmakers with retail and/or online operations. My officials are currently considering this proposal, including the compatibility of a core element with EU rules, and will set out analysis and options in relation to betting duty at the Tax Strategy Group (TSG) meeting in July. The TSG Papers will be published on the Department's website shortly afterwards.