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Bookmakers to Challenge Betting Tax in South Australia
- August 2, 2016 By Nemanja L. -
Leading sports betting operators targeting the Australian market have joined hands in an attempt to prevent South Australia’s point of consumption tax from being enforced.
A 15% tax on online betting revenue should come in effect on 1st July 2017, and it will apply to both sports betting and horse racing wagers.
However, the Australian Wagering Council (AWC) have recently launched Stop the Punters Tax campaign, hoping they can somehow avoid paying proposed taxes.
It is important to note that bet365, Unibet, Sportsbet and Betfair are all members of AWC, so it goes without saying that they’ve got enough power to make their opinion heard.
The First Australian State to Introduce POC Tax
South Australia is the first state to introduce a point of consumption tax, but more are expected to follow in their footsteps, especially as they plan to secure $9.2 million per year this way.
The Australian Wagering Council now has plans to target around 200,000 of South Australia’s punters, using newspaper ads, email marketing and various social channels for this purpose.
South Australia treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has revealed that some $500k of proposed tax earnings will be used to finance the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund.
AWC president Cormac Barry has made it clear that the POC tax could have detrimental effect on the state’s racing and sports funding if the leading operators decide to pull out of the market due to new tax obligations.
The AWC chairman says that the operators can either exit the South Australia market or calculate the extra costs into their bookmaker margins, which would definitely rub their clients the wrong way.
There are concerns that the state residents will quit playing with AWC member sites when the new tax is introduced and instead take their money to websites holding international licenses, which will eventually hurt the state as well.
Barry has told the media that South Australia treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has made no attempts to hear the other side of the story, and try to find a solution that would suit all parties, but rather remains stubborn and convinced that his actions are in the best interest of the state.