It seems that the question of tax on gambling previously reported in this Irish casino news section will not go away as the rumours now circulate that Finance Minister Brian Lenihan is about to impose an additional 2% tax on winnings. The measures which in some quarters are being called insane would affect sports bets and according to Irish Bookmakers’ Association chair person Sharon Byrne up to 1/3 of betting shops could close overnight thus putting thousands of people out of work as punters took their business to overseas operated online bookmakers. The Government is looking for a contribution of some €60 million but if the number of gamblers drops, and shops have already reported a 40% slump since last year, the whole idea could backfire. Previous discussion has centred around the need for more funding for the horse and dog racing industry in Ireland but it is not thought that they are behind this latest initiative and in fact HRI chief executive has categorically denied making any submission to the department of finance. Another course of action also previously reported in Irish casino news is the extension of the current 1% tax to include the online operators in the country. The trouble with this being that most of the online operators are not based in Ireland and that includes some of the largest bookmakers in the country so collecting the tax could be challenging. In the meantime the debate continues and nobody really has the answer..