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Coveney flags higher betting tax

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney yesterday signalled a rise in betting tax -- which will also be applied to online betting -- to fund the horse and greyhound industry.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal, he said: "It's absolutely ridiculous at the moment that there's a levy or a tax on the turnover in betting shops but not on online betting."

While he expressed confidence in the future of the bloodstock industry, he said that he needed to ensure that it's properly self-funded by tax.

"I'm not satisfied that decisions made by governments over the last 15 years have been the correct ones," he said.

"It's been reduced from 10pc down to 1pc under the Charlie McCreevy-era."

He plans to bring forward a proposal to double the tax from 1pc to 2pc. "We will introduce legislation very early in the autumn," he said.

This hike would bring the growing online betting industry into the tax net -- it's estimated that revenue from online gambling in Ireland is about €1bn a year. According to Mr Coveney, the tax increase could raise between "€80m and €100m".

Irish Independent