Tax impact warning from Paddy Power

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Aug 26, 2010
Irish tax risk may force gambling group to rethink an investment in 750 new jobs

The online and land gambling group Paddy Power, which released a strong set of results this week (see previous InfoPowa reports), has warned the Irish government that new tax proposals could trigger a reconsideration of its future plans, which include the creation of 750 new jobs over the next three years.

The bookmaker said that the tax risk multiplied by extending betting tax to telephone and internet operations could adversely impact its planning.

“We don't have an issue with paying betting taxation,” CEO Patrick Kennedy told the Financial Times this week. “Our issue is if we have to pay it solely because we employ people in Ireland.”

Kennedy said that while 10 major companies marketed online products in Ireland, only two had a physical presence and the planned levy was effectively “a tax on Irish jobs”.

In its planning over the next three years, Paddy Power expects that 350 of the 750 new jobs would be in Ireland, “….but there is a genuine risk that if the government introduces a tax that creates an unlevel playing field, those jobs don't come to Ireland”, Kennedy added.

Paddy Power pays Euro 19 million in corporation tax and VAT and the gambling executive said that if the proposed 1 percent betting turn-over tax was extended to phone and internet betting, it would cost his company Euro 5 million more.

Kennedy went on to point out that betting tax will in practice be difficult to enforce against foreign operators, thereby giving them a competitive advantage.
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