Irish lawmakers are pushing a new tax plan for horse wagering that would spare operators, while putting a load of new taxes on punters. The new tax scheme was proposed by Horse Racing Ireland and is currently under consideration by the Minister of Irish Department of Finance Tax Strategy Group.

At the core of plan is a proposal to push the current horse wagering tax from 1 percent to 2.5 percent. The authors of the measure also suggest increasing the duty on wagering intermediaries from 15 percent to a whopping 37.5 percent.

Though it might seem counterintuitive, Horse Racing Ireland has a strong interest in increasing taxes on horse races on the Emerald Isles. As it turns out, a good chunk of that tax revenue pours back into the Irish Horse and Greyhound Fund. This particular fund is used to subsidize the activities of Irish horse and dog breeders.

According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, the fund has been a little light in recent years and regulators thought it needed a boost.

While the increases sound a bit draconian, they’re actually not as bad as they sound. As it turns out, these increases would bring horse wagering taxes up to the level they were at just a few years ago, before 2016. Brian Kavanagh, President of Horse Racing Ireland, pointed out that the tax cuts had taken place despite major growth in the Irish horse racing industry.

Generally speaking, the Irish Horse and Greyhound fund receives about two-thirds of its funding from betting taxes while the other third is derived from the general tax fund.


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