Thursday, 19 September 2019

Questions (53)

Darragh O'Brien


53. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Finance the status of the betting tax review; when the review will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37952/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

During the course of the Finance Bill process last year, the betting sector raised concerns regarding the impact of the duty increases on their sector, especially on small independent bookmakers who might have difficulty competing with larger bookmakers with retail and/or online operations.

The industry proposed that the current turnover based model be replaced with a gross profits model, based on the UK model of calculating gross profits. However, the critical difference to the UK model was that it proposed that different rates would apply for retail and online activities. The industry suggested a rate of 10% of gross profits for retail activities and 20% of gross profits for online activities.

I agreed to review the proposal to apply differentiated rates to the retail and online sectors.  My Department outlines the review in this year's TSG General Excise Paper, as well as other elements of betting tax policy. 

In relation to the proposal to apply differentiated rates through a gross profits model, following consultation with the European Commission, my officials have advised that it is clear that there is insufficient legal certainty to proceed with any such proposal at this time. The key element of the proposal was the differentiated rates for the retail and online sectors and my Department does not see any compelling case to change from the current model to a gross profits model at this point in time.