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Industry Condemns South Australian 'Punters Tax'

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

03 August 2016

The Australian Wagering Council (AWC) has warned that punters will "bear the brunt" of South Australia's proposed new 15 percent place of consumption tax on betting companies.

The South Australian Government has announced plans to introduce a levy on the net wagering revenue (NWR) of betting companies offering services in the state, effective from July 1, 2017. All bets placed in South Australia with Australian-based companies will be liable for the tax. A tax-free threshold of AUD150,000 (USD113,764) NWR will apply per year.

According to the AWC, the tax "will target South Australians, worsen their odds, and ultimately damage Australia's uniform responsible gambling initiatives by pushing punters into dangerous and unregulated offshore betting sites." It alleged that South Australian punters "are being treated like a cash cow" by a Government "that thinks putting its hands in punters' pockets is a fast track to easy money."

Ian Fletcher, Chief Executive of the AWC, warned that with the introduction of the "punters' tax," South Australia will become the most expensive wagering environment in the world.

He said: "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."

TAGS: tax | investment | Australia | tax thresholds | offshore | gambling | tax rates | tax reform | trade association | trade | services

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