Dáil Éireann - Volume 621 - 14 June, 2006

Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance if he intends to amend the Betting Act 1931 or [1275] Section 85 of the Finance Act 1998 to alter the permitted opening hours of registered betting premises; the amendments he proposes to make; if he has had discussions with industry groups on the matter; if so, the groups with which he has discussed the matter. [22955/06]

  Mr. Cowen: I have received a number of representations, including from Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), with respect to the fact that betting offices are not permitted to open on Easter Sunday. HRI have indicated their support for easing this restriction given that an important schedule of horse racing is now held over the Easter holiday period, including on Easter Sunday. HRI have also made representations that, as it is the intention that all-weather floodlit horse racing would commence at Dundalk during 2007, they would, in the financial interest of horse racing, favour betting offices being allowed to open during the hours when such fixtures are being held. Any decisions on these issues will be made in the context of next year’s Budget and Finance Bill.