The Victorian state government is hoping to grab $30 million annual slice of tax revenue from online gambling by introducing an 8% point of consumption tax (POCT) on net wagering revenue from January next year.
But that figure is almost half the 15% tax introduced South Australia last year, with Western Australia due to implement a 15% tax is next year and Queensland promising similar measures.
Despite the low rate, the gaming industry lobby group Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), which represents bet365, Betfair, CrownBet, Ladbrokes, Sportsbet and Unibet, said it was “disappointed” by the decision, saying it would have “have significant negative and far-reaching consequences”.
Online gambling in Australia is estimated to be worth more than $2.4 billion annually, and Australia accounts for around 5% of the total global spend online.
RWA says last financial year, the online industry, which employees around 1000 people in Victoria paid the state government $6 million in payroll tax plus $80 million to the Victorian racing industry.
“An 8% POCT does not adequately account for these significant contributions and will result in Victoria having one of the highest effective wagering tax rates in the world,” a spokesperson said.
Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas said the government wanted to work with other states and territories on common POCT model and pledged that the state’s racing industry would be no worse off because of the new tax.
“Online betting and wagering agencies take a huge amount of money out of Victoria,” he said.
“It’s time they started making a fair and proper contribution.”
The government says the revenue from the tax will go to the State’s Hospitals and Charities Fund.
Details on the POCT are available here.
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