Bookmakers team up against gambling tax

Bookmakers team up against gambling tax

The Australian Wagering Council launched a campaign against South Australia’s proposed gambling tax, which is expected to be introduced from July 1 2017.

Australia.- The Australian Wagering Council launched a campaign against South Australia’s proposed gambling tax set to be introduced from July 1 2017.

Tom Koutsantonis, South Australian treasurer, announced last week his plan to introduce a new ‘place of consumption tax’ of 15 percent on the net wagering revenue of betting companies operating in South Australia.

In response, the Australian Wagering Council, whose members include Sportsbet, Bet365, Ladbrokes, Unibet and Betfair, decided to launch a public campaign to protest against the tax. Ian Fletcher, Australian Wagering Council chief executive dubbed the measure a ’15 percent Punters’ Tax’, adding that punters would bear the brunt of the tax through worse odds and fewer markets, turning South Australia into the most expensive wagering environment in the world. Sportsbet leads the fight against the tax, with the launch of a social media campaign ‘stop the punters tax’ along with Ladbrokes, Unibet and Betfair.

“It doesn’t matter if you bet with your favourite bookie on-course, in your local pub or club or online with a corporate bookmaker.  The punters’ tax will hit you,” Mr Fletcher said. “It will affect those who don’t even reside in South Australia but who place a bet while holidaying or doing business in the State.”

Koutsantonis declared that the bookmakers were running a scare-campaign against the place of consumption tax. “What Sportsbet is not telling people is that they and other online betting companies base themselves in places like Norfolk Island and the NT to avoid paying tax,” said Koutsantonis.”The place of consumption tax is not a tax on punters, it only applies to net wagering revenue. In other words, the money that is lost to these companies by South Australians. The place of consumption tax is not a tax on punters, it only applies to net wagering revenue.”