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Online gambling tax increase sought by Irish Labour Party

According to reports from the Irish Press Association, some Labour Party politicians in that country are not content with extending the tax net to online gambling operators. They would now like to ratchet up the rate from 1% to 1.5%. Party Leader Eamon Gilmore is apparently behind the move, which is unlikely to be well received by operators.

Gilmore wants the extra income to go to the Irish Horse and Greyhound Fund, which helps support the racing industry, with the politician contending that this would relieve the government of further subsidies for racing.

The Labour Party apparently sees the recent extension of the tax net as another opportunity to give the industry more money to maintain horse racing prizes at a higher level than in other European countries.

In related news, The Racing Post reports that the Italian horseracing industry is also under pressure, and has unveiled statistics showing that betting turnover on the sport in Italy for 2010 was about €1.7 billion, a drop of 12.7% compared to the 2009 figure of €1.98 billion, a trend that runs contrary to that of other gambling sectors in the country.

Analysts are apparently pessimistic, predicting that the decline appears to be continuing into 2011, with January figures down some 17% relative to the same period last year.

The recent government pledge to inject €150 million will certainly help the Italian racing industry in the short term, but critics claim that this support merely papers over the cracks in a beleaguered sport.

The oversight body for the industry, UNIRE, has claimed it is already studying the problem in concert with the government.

Source: InfoPowa News

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