Lobby against iGaming tax strengthens in Victoria

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Australian iGaming operators are trying to stop Victoria from adopting a 15 percent tax on online betting like they have in other states.

Australia.- Several Australian states have adopted a 15 percent tax on digital betting and Victoria could be next. However, local operators are taking their efforts to a whole new level in order to stop state officials from rolling out the “point-of-consumption” tax.

Australian operators have confirmed to local media that “not many bookmakers would even be making a 15 percent margin on their wagering” and added: “The downstream consequences for the wagering industry and consumers is very real, and we think the Victorian government is going to pay more attention than the other states have.”

Tax supporters argue that setting it up in Victoria would “level the playing field” with other operators like those licensed in the Northern Territory, who contribute through different levies. However, legal advisors for companies like CrownBet, Ladbrokes and others have branded the decision as a “naked tax grab” with no consultation.

The Stephen Conroy-led industry group Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), representing Sportsbet, CrownBet, Bet365, Betfair, Ladbrokes and Unibet, called the Queensland decision a “naked tax grab” with no consultation.

The group said it was working with “all jurisdictions” to ensure the new taxes took into account the industry’s “significant contribution to the economy”.

“In the last financial year in Victoria, Responsible Wagering Australia’s members employed more than 900 people, paid more than US$96.6 million in wages, contributed US$59.3 million to the racing industry and paid more than US$8.3 million in sponsorships to support Victorian events and tourism,” a spokeswoman for the RWA said.

The first Board of Treasurers meeting served as a discussion hub for state and territory treasurers, who discussed the point-of-consumption taxes for online betting but it is still unclear what conclussions they’ve came up with.

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