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Western Australia government introduces gambling tax

Wed, Oct 18, 9:51am by Staff Writer

The Western Australian government has introduced a new gambling tax which will take affect by January 2019.

In its budget announced on 7 October 2017, the State Government announced a 15 per cent point of consumption tax, similar to a tax South Australia introduced in July 2017.

The tax would replace the current tax framework in the state and apply to all forms of wagering, including fixed odds for racing and sports.

Racing and Wagering WA boss Richard Burt said, “the tax would raise the overall tax burden on state-owned betting agency, the TAB.”

The tax is expected to raise $53 million over two and a half years, with all bets in WA on sports and racing events from anywhere in the world attracting the levy.

The measure hopes to stop the loss of gambling revenue to online and corporate bookmakers in low-tax jurisdictions such as the Northern Territory.

Western Australia’s decision comes amidst scheduled ministerial meetings to discuss the Federal Government’s national wagering tax plan.

The South Australian Government announced a 15 per cent tax on the net wagering revenues of betting companies earning more than $150,000 a year and offering services to South Australians in July 2017.

This decision was the first time an Australian jurisdiction targeted betting companies based on the location where the based was placed, as opposed to where the company is located.

Mr Burt said moves by other states to bring in point of consumption taxes will make it, “harder for other TABs and corporate bookmakers to market WA’s products, causing a deflationary effect on receipts.”

The Victorian government revealed in its May 2017 budget that it intends on implementing a similar tax to that in South Australia, in light of the increasing number of punters betting online.

Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) executive director Stephen Conroy said, “the downtown in wagering in the state will result in lower returns to the state’s racing industry and an increase reliance on government funding.”

In WA, as in other states, the TAB helps fund the racing industry and grassroots sport by redistributing tens of millions of dollars in wagering revenues to clubs and facilities.

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