Queensland announces new 5% racing levy added to the betting tax

Authorities have announced a new "sustainable funding model" for the racing industry.
Authorities have announced a new "sustainable funding model" for the racing industry.

The tax will also be expanded to cover free and bonus bets.

Australia.- The government of Queensland has announced a new sustainable funding model designed to boost Queensland’s racing industry, especially country racing. It includes a new 5 per cent racing levy added to the betting tax and an expansion of the tax to cover free and bonus bets.

According to Cameron Dick, Queensland treasurer and minister for trade and investment, the move recognises significant changes that have occurred in the racing industry and the important role country clubs play in regional communities.

Dick stated: “There are 125 racing clubs across Queensland. For 85 of those clubs, a race meeting is the biggest or second biggest event in their community each year. For many of those clubs, a race meeting is a once-a-year event that is an unparalleled opportunity for people to get together.

“Our government recognises how important those gatherings are to the social fabric of Queensland, and this announcement will help them thrive into the future.”

Racing minister Grace Grace added: “These changes offer the industry, and the 6500 jobs it directly employs, greater certainty.

“Providing longer term funding certainty means opportunities for increased prize money, enhanced infrastructure, and better training facilities – and the more the industry grows, the more revenue it will receive.”

The changes include:

  • a new 5 per cent racing levy added to the betting tax (also known as the Point of Consumption tax)
  • broadening the betting tax to include free and bonus bets
  • increasing the proportion of betting tax revenue that goes directly to the racing industry from 35 per cent to 80 per cent.

Since 2014, Racing Queensland’s funding has relied on an agreement with Tabcorp, which has now been withdrawn. Grace said the changes would provide more sponsorship opportunities for racing clubs in Queensland.

Adam Rytenskild, Tabcorp chief executive officer, said: “This is a big shot in the arm for the Queensland racing industry – it is also great for TABs in pubs and clubs, and great for punters right across Queensland.

“The Queensland racing industry will finally receive a fair share of funding from foreign-owned betting companies – who have grown rapidly, taking the TABs market share and therefore undercutting racing industry funding.”

However, the online gaming industry did not take the news enthusiastically. Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), the trade body for the online industry, said it was dissatisfied and that the increase was introduced without consulting the online gaming industry.

Queensland announces tougher gambling laws and higher penalties

As previously reported by Focus Gaming News, authorities announced the introduction of legislative reforms to the Queensland casino regulatory framework. The Casino Control and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 proposes tougher gambling laws, higher penalties and more gambling harm minimisation measures.

Attorney-general and minister for justice Shannon Fentiman said: “These reforms seek to address concerns which have emerged from the public inquiries into casinos operated by Crown Resorts in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, as well as investigations underway into the Star Entertainment Group.”

Further legislative changes may be considered following the completion of the ongoing investigation into The Star Entertainment Group.

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