RWA in the media – recent tax hikes

On 21 June, the NSW Treasury announced a 50 per cent tax increase as part of its state budget for next financial year.

The NSW state government made the decision to up the Point of Consumption Tax (POCT) levy for online wagering from 10 to 15 per cent, adding an extra $740 million in government revenue over the next four years. And with Australia’s online wagering industry being taxed more, the NSW racing industry is set to receive at least $265 million from the new tax regime.

The NSW State Budget papers stated that “to assist the transition to the new taxation arrangements” the government will provide no worse off payments to private land-based, retail gambling venue Tabcorp.

Tabcorp stated that the increase to the POCT had levelled the playing field for gambling companies in Australia and would ensure “a fairer system.”

In counter statements, RWA has opposed the announcement explaining that such significant tax changes unfairly entrench the monopoly enjoyed by Tabcorp at the expense of the new and emerging online industry. RWA explained that it is the punter who will bear the brunt of this decision through less attractive odds and higher margins.

The NSW announcement came hot on the heels of the QLD government’s recent decision to increase the state’s POCT tax levy from 15 to 20 per cent (6 June).

The move by the QLD Government was also met by fierce criticism from RWA. RWA publicly stated that the online wagering industry was blindsided by the decision with no consultation. This is despite the QLD Government being party to discussions between the Commonwealth, States and Territories on the creation and implementation of a unified national approach to wagering taxation and consumer protection law.

RWA will continue to campaign and oppose the issue noting that the decision to raise the POCT across the states will only serve to decrease competition and will allow one entity to strengthen its commercial monopoly without paying a premium.

Additionally, RWA believes the tax hikes will set back the development of a nationally harmonised approach to taxation and consumer protection in the online wagering industry, the creation of which would be of great benefit to both government, industry and consumers alike.