Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (518)

Maureen O'Sullivan


518. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on subsidies to industries which promote gambling and its consequences (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5730/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under Section 12 of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act, 2001 (No.20 of 2001), the horse and greyhound racing industries receive financial support from the State through the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund (the Fund). In the period 2001 to 2018 a total of €1.2 billion has been paid from the Fund in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Monies are paid out of the fund in the ratio of 80% to Horse Racing Ireland and 20% to Bord na gCon as specified in Section 12 (6) of the Act. State funding provided through the Fund is pivotal to the survival of the horse and greyhound racing industries. €84 million has been provided under the Fund for 2019.

Horse Racing Industry

The 2017 Deloitte Report into the Economic Impact of Irish Breeding and Racing, commissioned by HRI, indicates that the total direct and stimulated expenditure of the Irish breeding and racing industry is estimated at €1.84 billion in 2016. In addition, it is estimated that there are 15,200 jobs at the core of the racing and breeding industry or in directly related industries. These jobs are based in rural areas and underpin the health of the rural economy.

Greyhound Racing Industry

A report by Economist Jim Power in November 2017 calculates there are 5,058 full and part-time jobs within the sector, with in excess of 7,000 greyhound owners deriving economic benefit from the industry. The national industry contributes around €300 million to the Irish economy. The industry also has an important social impact on thousands of people, particularly in rural areas.