Australian online wagering industry disappointed by the ACT Government’s tax hike

Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) is disappointed after being blindsided by the ACT Government’s surprise decision to increase the Point of Consumption tax rate from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

Responsible Wagering Australia’s CEO Kai Cantwell said this decision, introduced without any consultation with the racing or wagering industry, would make the state’s taxes the highest across Australia, hurting both ACT punters and Canberra racing.

‘The ACT Government was involved in discussions between the Commonwealth, states and territories on the creation and implementation of a unified national approach to wagering taxation and consumer protection law and had ample opportunity to engage productively with industry on sensible measures for reform,’ Mr Cantwell said.

‘This tax would have serious implications for the ACT racing sector which currently contributes $52.9 million to the local economy each year and supports around 200 jobs.

‘The industry already contributes $20.4 million in tax to the ACT Government each year and is now being slogged with another tax with little or no return to the industries that are contributing significantly to the ACT economy.

‘This hit to the industry could mean a real reduction in revenue received by ACT racing, putting the sustainability of the industry at risk.

‘This decision by the ACT Government sets 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 government, industry and consumers alike.

‘Responsible Wagering Australia calls on the ACT Government to reverse this decision and work with us to support the sustainability of the ACT’s racing and sporting industries.’