In its 2016-17 Budget, the State Government announced the introduction of a point of consumption wagering tax of 15% on the net revenue made by bookies’ from bets made in SA, effective from 1 July 2017.
A POC Wagering Tax operates in the UK and is also set at 15 per cent.
The face of gambling in Australia is changing and the tax system has to change with it.
With the rise of online betting on sports and racing, international bookmakers have set up shop in virtual gambling tax havens. The revenue they get from South Australian punters is taxed in the Northern Territory or Norfolk Island where gambling taxes are capped at very low levels. That is not fair to local bookies who pay gambling taxes here, or to the South Australian community who miss out on the revenue which could pay for vital services – including the harm caused by gambling.
South Australia’s proposed wagering tax closes this tax loophole and taxes bookies’ winnings where the bets are made – not in whatever jurisdiction the corporation holds it bookmaking licence.
This point of consumption wagering tax would see the big online bookmakers, like Sportsbet and Ladbrokes, pay gambling taxes in SA for the first time.
The Wagering Tax is expected to raise $9.2m per year, that is:
- $9.2m of tax revenue that does not have to be found from payroll, land or vehicle taxes; or
- $9.2m of services for the South Australian community.
The government has announced that $500,000 per year from the wagering tax will go to the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund to support problem gamblers. It is the first time that betting taxes will contribute to the Fund which has until now been supported by poker machine taxes.
Small bookies with net revenue of less than $150,000 per year will be exempt from the tax.
The wagering tax is a tax on bookies’ revenue, it is not a tax on punters.
SACOSS supports the proposed wagering tax because it is fair and will ensure that revenue from South Australian betting is taxed in South Australia, and that the money raised can be directed to services for South Australians.
SACOSS is calling on all parties in the state parliament to pass the Wagering Tax legislation without delay.
For more information
Download the 8-page SACOSS Policy Brief on SA's Proposed Wagering Tax
Download the 2-page SACOSS Fact Sheet: SA's Proposed Wagering Tax
SACOSS' major report Losing the Jackpot: South Australia's Gambling Taxes which first called for place of consumption taxation.