Irish Horseracing Industry Act, 1994

Levies payable by authorised bookmakers on course bets.

54.—(1) (a) An authorised bookmaker who enters into a bet at an authorised racecourse (whether on an event taking place there or elsewhere) shall pay to the Authority a levy on such bet.

(b) The rates of levy payable under paragraph (a) shall be—

(i) in respect of a bet with an authorised bookmaker other than in a betting office and placed solely on a horse race taking place at the authorised racecourse at which the bet is placed 5 per cent. or such other percentage as the Authority, with the consent of the Minister, may from time to time prescribe, or

(ii) in respect of all bets placed in a betting office at an authorised racecourse and in respect of any bet placed at an authorised racecourse where all or any part of that bet relates to an event being either a horse race or any other event taking place elsewhere, the same rate of levy as that rate of excise duty which would apply under section 24 of the Finance Act, 1926 (as amended by section 31 of the Finance Act, 1985 ) to such bet if it was placed other than at an authorised racecourse.

(c) If the event the subject of a bet under paragraph (b) (i) is determined in favour of the person with whom the bookmaker enters into the bet, the bookmaker shall, from the total amount which he would otherwise pay or credit to that person in respect of the bet, make a deduction calculated at the rate of percentage referred to in that subparagraph of that total amount.

(d) For the purposes of this section the amount of a bet shall be taken to be the sum which, by the terms of the bet, the bookmaker by whom it is entered into, will be entitled to receive, retain or take credit for if the event the subject of the bet, is determined in his favour.

(2) (a) An authorised bookmaker who fails or neglects to pay any sum payable by him in respect of a levy may have any permit granted to him under section 48 suspended or revoked by the Authority.

(b) The Authority may restore any such permit where it is satisfied that all arrears of levy due under subsection (1) (including interest at an appropriate percentage rate) have been paid.

(3) Every levy payable by any person shall be recoverable from that person by the Authority as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(4) (a) Where a bookmaker is found not to have paid levy due or not to have made proper returns to the Authority in respect of such levy or both for a period of one month, the Authority may make an assessment of levy due and may charge interest at an appropriate rate from the day on which any such levy first became due and in doing so shall have regard to the level of interest rates generally in the State.

(b) (i) Subject to subparagraph (ii), interest at an appropriate percentage rate to be charged by the Authority under this section shall be 15 per cent. per annum.

(ii) The Authority may, with the consent of the Minister, if it is satisfied that the appropriate percentage rate for the time being standing specified in this section, ought, having regard to the level of rates of interest generally in the State, to be varied, by regulations vary the rate of interest so standing specified and this section shall have effect in accordance with the terms of any such regulations.

(5) (a) Whenever it is proved to the satisfaction of the Authority that a course bet in respect of which a levy is payable has become a void bet the Authority may subject to such conditions as it thinks fit to impose, either, as the case may require, repay the levy paid or remit the levy chargeable in respect of such course bet.

(b) In this paragraph “void bet” means a course bet placed either on a horse in a race at a race-fixture or on another event which has been abandoned, declared void or postponed to another day or placed on a horse which does not achieve a fair start as required by the Rules of Racing.

(6) Subsection (1) (b) (ii) shall come into operation on such day as the Minister may appoint by order.