Government holds off on tax hike

Efforts by Irish bookmaking companies and associations to convince the government that moves to double gambling tax would endanger employment prospects and businesses in the sector were successful this week as the government relented.

In a surprise eleventh-hour U-turn the government decided to leave the betting turnover tax at 1 percent.

The Finance Bill containing the tax provisions is going through the Irish Parliament committee stage, where various amendments can be made. The government originally intended that the turnover tax increase would take effect from the beginning of May 2009, but it has been put on hold.

Sharon Byrne, a spokesperson for the Irish Bookmaking Association, said: “This is very good news and we can breathe again."

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