Sunday 21. August, 2016

Tatts Boss Robbie Cooke Supports New SA Gambling Taxes

The new gambling tax introduced by the South Australian government has been high on the agendas of Australian and foreign gambling operators. The 15 percent tax on wagering revenues generated in the state has been denounced by offshore online bookies, but praised by local bookies such as Tatts.

Tatts chief executive, Robbie Cooke, said the new tax levels the playing field with states and territories beginning to take note of what he refers to as “tax leakage.” Offshore bookmakers, on the other hand, are campaigning against the tax with Sportsbet announcing it had decided to abort plans to build a $20 million hi-tech data facility in the state and terminate its sponsorship of Gawler racecourses due to the new tax.

“The reason you’re hearing all the noise in the market is not the fact South Australia is going to do this – it is the fact that other jurisdictions are absolutely considering it and that will change the wagering dynamic in the Australian marketplace,” said Mr Cooke.

“In South Australia, for every $1 of revenue we earn, we pay the racing industry 39 cents of that dollar and we pay the government 6 percent in tax. A bookmaker selling a bet to a South Australian resident is paying nothing to the government.”

Mr Cooke reported that the majority of revenue for Tatts comes from its lotteries division and as such they do not expect their costs to increase following the introduction of the gambling tax in South Australia.

Mr Cooke also pointed out that Tatts’ wagering business is performing strongly with revenue of $609 million which places it second in the country in terms of revenue.

Recent merger talks between Tatts and rival Tabcorp failed; however, Mr Cooke suggested that other opportunities could become available in the future.

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