Sunday 7. August, 2016

Companies Join Forces to Oppose South Australian Gambling Tax

A number of leading online bookmakers have come together to launch a campaign in opposition of a proposed gambling tax in South Australia. The companies are arguing that the point of consumption tax will make SA the most expensive state in which to gamble in the world.

The social media campaign dubbed the ‘stop the punter’s tax’ campaign, has been launched by members of the Australian Wagering Council (AWC) including Bet365, Ladbrokes, Sportsbet and Unibet. The 15 percent tax on net wagering revenue on operators who offer betting services in the state, is due to be introduced from July 2017.

“The government has brought to the parliament an ill-considered new tax, without consulting the community, which will hit the leisure activities of South Australians, damage the state’s racing and sporting industries by targeting their participants and play into the hands of unscrupulous overseas operators who do not have an investment or interest in South Australian sport and recreation,” stated Ian Fletcher, chief executive of the AWC.

The group has placed full page advertisements in national newspapers calling on Australian punters to oppose the tax. The aim is to flood the offices of South Australian MPs with demands to get rid of the tax.

The tax is the first of its kind that taxes companies where the bets are placed, rather than where the company is headquartered and the government expects to raise in the region of $9.2 million per annum from it.

The state’s treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis, referred to the push as a scare-campaign, pointing out that “the place of consumption tax is not a tax on punters; it only applies to net wagering revenue. In other words, the money that is lost to these companies by South Australians.”


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