Queensland Bettors and Betting Operators Hit with Tax Hike

Ben H / 8 June 2022

Sports betting in Queensland will get more expensive for punters. Queensland is introducing a 5% tax hike which will increase the existing 15% consumption tax to 20%. Betting operators in the Australian state will also have to pay tax on free bets and bonus bets.

Racing Queensland will benefit from the tax hike the most. The organization will also get a more favourable allocation of betting tax revenue. Queensland’s racing regulatory body will get 80% of the betting revenue in the state. Before the point went up, Racing Queensland received only 35%.

New Tax Will Help the Racing Industry

According to Cameron Dick, Queensland’s treasurer, the racing industry as a whole will benefit from the new consumption tax increase. He said that the new money will help clubs and boost the industry’s infrastructure,breeding schemes, and prize money.

The treasurer added that all betting operators needed to “pay their fair share,” including international wagering providers. He said that in doing so, they were investing in the future of racing in Queensland.

It is estimated that with the new budget and increase in consumption tax Racing Queensland will get A$80 million every year. That would be a dramatic increase in revenue, as in FY2020-21, the racing regulator got only A$32.5 million.

The new tax would also fund two major Queensland projects. The first is a A$72-million aeromedical hub that would be built at Brisbane Airport. It will also help allocate A$334 million for the Royal Flying Doctor Service for the next ten years.

Punters Shouldn’t Be Affected

The increase in funding for Racing Queensland is all well and good, but it will be Queensland punters that will foot the bill at the end of the day. That’s because betting operators are expected to look for ways in which they would transfer their costs over to bettors, which might mean lower odds for punters.

However, Dick thinks that the tax increase shouldn’t impact punters, as it was directed towards “deep-pocketed” online bookmakers.

Queensland recently changed its gambling ecosystem which gave the gaming regulator more control and also introduced cashless gaming in the state. It also authorized fines of up to A$50 million if an operator violated gambling laws. The Casino Control Amendment bill didn’t specify whether Racing Queensland will benefit from that gambling revenue as well.

All Betting Operators Complain – Except Tabcorp

Experts say that the new betting tax hike is a victory for Tabcorp. While bookmakers like Sportsbet, Ladbrokes, and PointsBet were expressing their dismay that the decision came “without any consultation,”  Tabcorp didn’t complain about the tax changes.

That’s because Tabcorp was unhappy that it paid more money than betting operators owned by international companies such as Entain and Flutter Entertainment. Tabcorp always said that it was paying double the money and cut its contributions in 2019 in response to that. The new tax changes fix that.

Tabcorp recently released a report where it said that its 2021 performance was better than the year before. In 2021, Tabcorp had revenue of A$5.6 million, an 8.8% increase over 2020.

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Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and four children's books... [Read full bio]

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