Wednesday 2. December, 2015

Clubs Australia Pushes for Consumption Tax for Online Operators

Clubs Australia which represents around 6,500 licensed clubs around the country, is petitioning the federal government to introduce a consumption tax on online gambling operators, as well as maintain the ban on in-play betting. At the same time, major betting operators, including William Hill, Ladbrokes, Bet365 and Paddy Power’s Sportsbet, are lobbying the government to lift the ban on in-play betting in the interests of fair competition.

In its submission to the government, CrownBet which is partly owned by Crown Resorts, argued that online in-play wagering is necessary to create parity between Australian and offshore gambling operators. This viewpoint was rejected by Clubs Australia.

“In Clubs Australia’s view, Australia’s licensed online wagering operators have used the pretence of competition with illegal offshore wagering providers to extract a range of regulatory concessions from governments with respect to taxation and harm minimisation,” stated Clubs Australia in its submission to the government. “Any suggestion that further regulatory concessions, such as in-play betting are warranted due to competitive pressures from illegal offshore wagering operators should be dismissed.”

In addition, they have cited Britain’s point-of-consumption tax that has been applied to overseas operators such that a 15 percent tax on all wagers placed in Britain is now imposed, regardless of where the headquarters of the gambling operator are physically located for gambling purposes. The South Australian government is considering the implementation of this tax to standardise the rates between land operators and online operators which are currently much higher for land-based operators.

“Clubs Australia understands online wagering operators located in the Northern Territory paid only $7 million in wagering tax in 2014-15 on gambling turnover of $9.7 billion,” reported Clubs Australia. “By comparison, Clubs would pay in the order of $200 million in gaming taxes on a similar level of turnover.”

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