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Western Australia Introduces Controversial Betting Tax
- September 14, 2017 By Riley Wilson -
Western Australia has introduced a new betting tax, which will put additional pressure on online bookmakers, but more importantly – it will have a negative impact on players as well.
A 15% point of consumption tax was announced along with the adoption of the state’s budget, and bears a similarity to the tax which has been in effect in South Australia since July.
Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), an independent body representing the Australian online wagering industry, expressed its disappointment with the latest move by the government of Western Australia, especially since they had already agreed to be the part of the national wagering tax plan.
Extremely High Taxes
RWA stated the new tax meant the online wagering operators holding a domestic license would be paying a tax of more than 40%. This would put Western Australia among the highest taxing jurisdictions in the world.
According to a statement made by the RWA, the latest decision made by the Western Australian government goes against the efforts of the federal government to achieve a harmonized approach to both taxation and consumer protection.
Stephen Conroy, the executive director of Responsible Wagering Australia, said the consumers were sure to feel the additional costs, which would undoubtedly be passed upon them by the operators. Such an outcome is a direct result of the Western Australian government’s decision to impose the new tax.
Conroy said the resulting decline in wagering would result in lower returns and an increased reliance on government funding.
Talks in Progress
The latest move arrived only a couple of days before the scheduled meeting on national consumer protection framework was about to take place.
Western Australia’s racing and gaming minister, Paul Papalia, said the industry was overreacting and that the tax would be updated with the future work done on a national level.
The Pandora’s box was opened by the South Australian prime minister, Jay Weatherill’s decision to introduce a 15% net wagering revenue tax on the companies earning more than $150,000 on a yearly basis. It came as a surprise that the law targeted betting companies based on where bets were placed and not on the location of the company.