But that prediction comes with a warning as the effects of a rise in betting duty began to be felt.
The Post suggests the increase could be worth an additional €40 million to Ireland’s economy, but there remains a fear that higher taxation could eat into operator profits and lead to job losses among the 7,000 people employed in the gambling industry.
Online Gambling In Ireland
Gambling is big business in Ireland and the Irish certainly love a flutter. A survey by the Irish government in 2014/15 found that 65% of adults reported that they had taken part in some form of gambling in the last year, with over four per cent of people saying they had gambled online or by telephone.
Land-based betting is worth a reported €315m in Ireland with major operators predicting more and more customers will shift towards online betting, with internet casinos and the like becoming increasingly popular.
Paddy Power Betfair CEO Peter Jackson said earlier this year that his company will focus on growing its online business in Ireland.
Gambling is certainly good for the Irish economy too. The recent increase in betting duty on exchange revenues is expected to swell Ireland’s tax coffers by an additional €40m a year in an economy growing six times faster than the European average.
How Big Can Sector Grow?
Online activity already accounts for 40% of the market share in all gambling in Ireland with the Irish Post article contrasting how much people love betting in the UK and the US compared with Irish gamblers, saying that:
“Ireland has its own love affair with gambling and is starting to catch them up — to the point it might even overtake them as a gambling-loving nation.”
Further big growth in the online gambling sector in Ireland seems to be inevitable, though that could be cooled by higher taxation with the Irish Betting Association having warned of “significant” job losses ahead of the 2019 increase in tax on operator turnover.