NSW and Victoria push for a nation-wide tax

NSW and Victoria are trying to promote a change in gambling taxation and shift to a nation-wide tax that could increase states and territories budgets.

Australia.- Australian states are working with the federal government to introduce a nation-wide consumption tax on gambling that’s being pushed, mainly, by New South Wales (NSW). The authorities argue that said change could provide states and territories with hundreds of millions in taxes.

Both the NSW and the Victorian budget confirm that they are annalysing the introduction of a similar consumption tax to that which starts in South Australia on Saturday, according to a report by the Financial Review. Even as the South Australia’s new tax is worth nearly US$7 million in annual revenue for the state, the Victorian government estimates that a gambling consumption tax would reap it around US$98.5 million a year. In NSW, the number would be even higher.

A NSW Treasury spokesman said that “a range of harmonisation options may be considered, and a common approach, if adopted, will include a national consumer protection framework on online gambling.” He also added that “the harm from gambling occurs at the point of consumption, so a point of consumption tax allows for the alignment of gaming tax revenue, some of which can be applied to addressing social costs.”

The tax would take effect by 2018-19 and would hit corporate bookmakers registered in the Northern Territory (NT) such as Sportsbet, CrownBet, William Hill and Bet365. The NT government will most likely oppose the consumption tax, which would level the playing field for a gambling operators given totalisator providers Tabcorp and Tatts Group have to pay much higher taxes than the corporate bookmakers.

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