A point of consumption tax is about to be imposed by the state of Victoria for online gambling operators. This is a much smaller rate than what has been considered or introduced across the country by other states. Tim Pallas is the treasurer of Victoria. He stated the remote gambling companies new tax would begin in January. The expected amount generated annually from this tax is AU $30 million.
Fears have been expressed by some of the opponents in regards to the new tax. They are afraid the local gambling operators will be paying less than other states due to the rate imposed in Victoria. In July of 2017 South Australia imposed a tax of fifteen percent. A tax for the same amount is expected to be implemented in Western Australia in January of 2019. A pledge was made by the state of Queensland to abide by this example and impose a tax with the same rate.
The parties in this debate have been putting pressure on the State Government. This includes gambling companies such as CrownBet, Sportsbet and bet 365. These companies are concerned their operations may be devastated if a point of consumption tax of 15 percent becomes necessary. A lower tax rate has been pushed for by these companies through their industry group RWA or Responsible Wagering Australia. They claim their taxes should be lower because this will ensure their businesses remain alive.
The government of the Northern Territory is currently issuing the operating licenses for the bookmakers. This means the tax rates have been significantly lower. The remote gambling operators have spent years avoiding the payment of taxes to the state of Victoria. They will now be required to pay. The companies currently paying a levy in Victoria of six percent will be facing the consequences of an increased tax rate.
The date the new point of consumption tax will go into effect is January of 2019. The legislation imposing this tax still needs to pass by Parliament. Every gambling operator would pay the new tax if based out of Victoria. This includes the businesses who manage the locations the players are using when making their bets. The RWA stated they were disappointed with the state’s decision once the eight percent point of consumption tax had been announced. They did applaud the State Governments consultative approach.
The RWA’s Executive Director is Stephen Conroy. He stated a massive amount of consumption tax is already being paid by the remote gambling industry through the GST or the Goods and Services Tax. This tax goes to the Federal Government of Australia. He does not believe a levy of eight percent is anywhere near adequate when the large contributions are considered. He believes when this new tax is implemented it will lead to one of the biggest global tax rates for betting coming from the state of Victoria. The anti-gambling campaigners are also unsatisfied with the new state levy. In the past they pushed for a tax rate of fifteen percent.