Bookmakers threaten to withhold payment of betting tax until the government cracks down on illegal gambling.

Racegoers at Fairyhouse were not deterred by the heavy rain or the recession. However, profits for bookmakers remain down.

Normally bookmakers prosper during a recession. People bet more.

Off-course bookmakers believe that the betting tax of twenty pence in the pound has driven away more than eighty five per cent of their business. Many punters are now placing bets with illegal bookies in order to avoid the tax. As a result, according to the bookies, the exchequer is losing around thirty five million pounds a year and bookmakers are going out of business. Bookmakers are now taking action against these rogue bookies. 

Brian Fogarty, Chairman of the Bookmakers Association, explains that the law regarding the betting duty, which was introduced in 1975, is not being enforced. Bookies believe that they have paid the price of government inaction with over a hundred and forty bookies going out of business in the last four years. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 January 1984. The reporter is Joe O'Brien.