The next budget for the Australian state of South Australia is set to include a provision that will look to harvest up to $6.85 million a year by instituting a new 15% tax on all wagers.
According to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, this is the first time an Australian jurisdiction has targeted betting companies using where wagers are placed rather than the location of the provider and will see the “place of consumption” tax levied on all net wagering revenues offered in South Australia.
If passed, Tom Koutsantonis, Treasurer for South Australia, revealed that the tax would apply to all wagers placed on horse, harness and greyhound racing as well as other sports such soccer and Australian-rules football from July 1 of next year. The Australian Labor Party politician declared that the proposed duty would additionally pertain to novelty bets such the winners of the nation’s imminent federal elections or next year’s Academy Awards.
“The betting industry is rapidly changing and our tax regime needs to change with it,” Koutsantonis told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “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.”
Koutsantonis explained that legislation to allow the new tax, which would apply to all South Australia-licensed bookmakers such as Ubet as well as interstate betting operators and other commercial players like Sportsbet and Ladbrokes, is to accompany the coming budget bills into Parliament. The Adelaide-born former taxi driver moreover asserted that the racing industry would not be adversely affected by the proposed levy and that the legislation would furthermore contain a tax-free threshold for operators of $111,763.
Finally, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation report alleges that the first $372,550 raised each year from the new levy is to be earmarked to help support the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund.
“One of the things we identified is that with the rise of sportsbetting 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,” Ross Womersley, Executive Director for the non-governmental South Australian Council Of Social Service, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.”