Tabcorp has joined forces with the Alliance for Gambling Reform and the Australian Hotel Association in a bid to harmonise betting taxes across all states. The betting operator wants foreign-owned online bookmakers to pay the same taxes as domestic land-based wagering providers.
Domestic Bookies Penalized
The name of the trade association that was created for this purpose is the Aussie Fair Play Coalition (AFPC). Its goal will be to lobby for other states to follow in Queensland’s footsteps and increase the betting tax for online bookmakers that have foreign owners.
The AFPC argues that domestic businesses, including betting operators like Tabcorp, are negatively affected, and in some way penalized, by the uneven tax rates they are paying. The trade association claims that even though some of Australia’s betting providers are based in the country, most of them are from abroad.
Tax Rate Reform
The push for an identical tax rate for all wagering providers dates back to 2019 when Victoria, fearing that international betting operators were paying less than domestic ones, introduced the point-of-consumption tax (POCT).
However, the POCT is not identical in all states. It stands at 15% in Western Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia, while it is at 10% in Victoria and New South Wales. Queensland recently raised the tax from 15% to 20%.
Other betting and gambling taxes also vary. For instance, the tax on pokies is 65%, while the totalizator tax is 19.11%.
Following Queensland’s Example
After Queensland increased its betting tax to 20%, TAB CEO Adam Rytenskild said that “online betting changed the market substantially” and that TAB was the biggest loser, as its licenses were issued before that.
Rytenskild noted that TAB paid twice the money for fees to local racing industries when compared to other bookmakers in Australia. He commended Queensland authorities for correcting that and for the “fair and much-needed reforms,” as they brought the betting market in Australia up to date with the modern economy and levelled the playing field.