Federal Government Divided Regarding Gambling Taxes
It goes without saying that online casinos severely disrupted the overall gaming industry in Australia. They introduced a convenient alternative to the regular and outdated brick-and-mortar venues. Players are currently available to wager as much as they want to without having to go through the hassle of accessing an actual casino.
What seemed to be a newly born industry started generating billions of dollars and revenue and, obviously, it had to be heavily regulated, tax-wise. Australia has had it rather tough in this regard, with the country being rather divided in its positions.
This has brought fuel to a recent concern, involving Scott Morrison, the federal Treasurer, and his plans to take over a cut of the new online gambling tax.
Online Casino Taxes: What’s the Concern?
The state treasurers in the different regions in Australia are fairly concerned that Scott Morrison intends to take a significant 15% cut of the point-of-sale consumption tax on online casinos. This is a newly introduced taxation and the potential cut would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars of the actual revenue generated from all the different types of online casinos and betting in general. But playing online casinos for real money should not affect your winnings.
This is a hot topic right now and it’s brought up in the agenda amongst the states ahead. The meeting is set to be taking place at the meeting of all the treasurers. This takes place two weeks from now at the Council on Federal Financial Relations.
Is There Something to Worry About?
Whenever new legislation is passed, the major concern is always pushed through towards the regular consumer – in this case, the individual player.
Now, you need to understand that local behemoths in the online casino business such as William Hill, CentreBet, Sportsbet, CrownBet and others alike are all registered in the Northern Territory of Australia. This is where they receive certain attractive concessions on the tax legislation.
The thorough and legitimate introduction of a PoS (Point-of-Sale) consumption Australian gambling taxes would suggest that there would be a receivable tax revenue every single time a bet is being placed. Morrison as well as the states’ treasurers already agreed to take the common national approach regarding the consumption tax. This happened on a meeting back in march.
And here’s where the debate starts to fuel. All the states apart from the Northern Territory have agreed to these policies. The treasurers broadly considered a model which is going to provide the Federal Government with a direct oversight in order to ensure that the tax is imposed on a state-by-state methodology. Of course, as you can see, this is likely to pose an issue as the majority of the companies which would be directly subjected and affected by this new legislation are registered in the Northern Territories for that reason exactly.
The Debate Heats Up about the Online Casino Tax
Steering a bit further from its original position, the Turnbull Government had definitively made it clear that they expect to get a certain cut, a percentage of the collected tax. This is something that’s expected to amount to tens of millions of dollars every single annum.
Morrison confirmed that, allegedly, the federal government is planning to take the cut which would amount somewhere in the range of 15%. In his own words:
“Any and all proceeds would be used to fund sport,” he said.
“If the states want the Commonwealth to provide a national solution — and we have been very upfront about that — we would want it to address funding requirements for national sports, rather than consider a national lottery.”
The issue arise because of the differences in the opinions. Different state treasurers see absolutely no reason for which Canberra should have any part in this and take a cut so substantial. The tax worth for Victoria and NSW on a per annum basis is worth over $130 million. At the same time, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill allegedly announced that the 15% cut off the consumption tax would be earning more than $150,000 in June alone. NSW and Victoria also indicated that they are moving towards a tax which is fairly similar.
The local government of Victoria had predicted a $130 million every single year generated from online gaming activities. This tax is designated for introduction in January of 2019.
What to Expect?
The online casino tax is obviously going to introduce a few different subjects in the entire industry, probably making it slightly more expensive for players to generate substantial profits. The thing is that consumption tax, in its nature, is paid by the consumer – the one who is taking advantage of the good or, in this case, the one who is placing the bet.
Depending on the percentage, this is generally considered as money out of the pocket. In any ways, it’s not expected to be something substantial but it’s definitely an additional expense and financial burden that is to be expected.
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