Horse Racing Ireland Slams Paddy Power Online Betting

Published Sunday, April 04, 2010 -

Harsh criticism has been heard from Ireland's horse racing industry about the monetary shortfalls being experienced by many horse racing venues in the country. The gulf between the Irish horse racing industry and the betting operators grew wider recently as opposing sides squared off as a committee meeting on sports convened. One respected voice in racing circles slammed Paddy Power chief executive officer Patrick Kennedy for showing "absolute disdain" for the racing industry. Kennedy fought back stating in an interview with the Racing Post that "Irish breeding is world class but our racing is not" adding that, Horse Racing Ireland "hides behind the success of our breeding industry." Basically the argument goes that the government wants gambling operators to foot more of the bill for Irish racing which survives mostly now on government subsidies. When things were good in the pre recession years tax receipts from gambling paid it's fair share of the costs but now as receipts have diminished things have changed and politicians have not been keeping up with the new situation. The biggest change is in the betting world, while there is still a strong, traditional betting shop trade in Ireland, the real growth has come through internet and telephone betting. The online betting market is mobile, and can be sourced anywhere in the world. Brian Kavanagh Horse Racing Ireland's chief executive officer said, "while betting in Ireland has increased four-fold to more than €4 billion, the tax take to the State has fallen from €68m to €31m," all within the last ten yeas. Paddy Power was quick to point out that to remain loyal to Ireland and become the cash cow gambling operator for the horse racing industry is simply not fair when other online gambling operations are making money in jurisdictions offshore without this kind of tax burden. Paddy Power executives are being loyal to their share holders who look at the bottom line. Horse racing in Ireland is a viable industry that helps drive the country's rural economy, and political solutions must be found quickly to close the tax gap and keep everyone working.

Related news

Return to Latest News