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Increase in betting levy sought by Federation of Irish Sport

The Federation of Irish Sport has called for the current betting levy to be increased from 2% to 3% in its pre-budget submission.

The federation is the representative organisation for the country's National Governing Bodies of Sport [NGBs] and Local Sports Partnerships [LSPs].

The levy has become a big issue in 2023 after the FAI called for it to be increased and distributed more evenly.

Federation of Irish Sport CEO Mary O'Connor, who was speaking on RTÉ's Sunday Sport, wouldn't be drawn on the percentage of the money that each sport should receive, but she argued that more money is needed for investment across all sports in Ireland.

"The bettling levy, as it is in Ireland, is low in comparison to European countries," she said on the programme.

"We feel there's a legacy - a traditional issue there. We believe that for sport and physical activity in this country, absolutely there should be monies coming from the betting levy.

"It's a challege for us. What's being said to us is that the money is not being ring fenced, it's going back into the exchequer. That's something we've fallen down on before.

"This additional 1% would have a huge impact on the development of sport and physical activity, not just in terms of programmes, but for the provision of equipment and infrastructure.

"One [other] key aspect is education. We want the opportunity to provide education to people who are working with people who are at risk, but also to educate coaches for what the signs are to look out for."

Last April the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar suggested the Government would not be inclined to revisit its policy on the redistribution of betting tax.

"I wouldn't pit sport against the equestrian industry in Ireland," he said following questions in the Dáil in