Thursday 23. June, 2016

South Australia to Introduce Interstate Gambling Tax

South Australia is planning to introduce Australia’s first interstate gambling tax which will tax companies at the point of consumption or where the bets are placed, as opposed to where the company is located.

The state government will tax all companies that offer services in South Australia 15 percent of their net wagering revenue. The tax will apply to bets placed on horses, harness and greyhound racing, sports such as soccer and AFL and novelty bets such as the winner of the election. It is expected to generate an additional $9.2 million in revenue per annum for the state.

“The betting industry is rapidly changing and our tax regime needs to change with it,” stated Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis. “If betting companies are making profits from South Australian punters they should be paying tax in South Australia, not in whichever jurisdiction their head office and servers happen to be located.”

Ross Womersley, executive director of South Australian Council of Social Services (SACOSS) welcomed the changes, saying: “We released a report a week ago that identified there was a major hole in the revenue bucket relating to gambling taxes. One of the things we identified is that with the rise of sports betting in Australia and online betting, lots of the taxation related to that betting was paid in other jurisdictions – effectively tax havens – in particular the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island, both of which have very preferential arrangements for taxation.”

The government will contribute the first $500,000 in taxes raised each year to the Gamblers’ Rehabilitation Fund. Anti-gambling activist, MP Nick Xenophon, says he’d like to see more of the revenue going to help problem gambling. He stated his team will support the changes, but will try to amend it so that more money goes to help problem gambling.

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