New ACT Gambling Tax to Take Effect in January 2019

The government of the Australian Capital Territory confirmed Tuesday the implementation of a 15% point of consumption tax on online betting services. The new taxation regime is set to come into force on January 1, 2019.

The new tax was presented earlier today as part of ACT’s budget for the upcoming 2018-19 financial year.

ACT-facing operators will thus be required to pay a 15% tax on the net betting revenue they generate from customers in the territory, no matter where the companies themselves are located and licensed. Bets on different sports as well as on horse, harness, and greyhound racing will all be taxed. Operators will also have to contribute tax revenue from bets on non-sports events such as elections and the Academy Awards.

The ACT government introduced the betting tax reform shortly after other Australian states had considered or implemented the same point of consumption regime. The collection of a 15% point of consumption tax is already in place in South Australia, where it took effect last year.

Queensland is expected to introduce the tax in its budget next week. It has also been understood that Western Australia plans implement a new 15% point of consumption tax regime anytime now. Victoria lawmakers have, too, confirmed plans for a similar move, but have also pointed out that the rate implemented would stand at 8% and would thus be significantly lower than the one in the above-mentioned states.

Of the new wagering tax, the ACT government said that it expects to collect annual tax revenue of around A$2 million from betting operators servicing residents of the territory. Tax contributions would be used to support services for Canberrans, lawmakers pointed out today.

Australia-facing betting operators target local customers mainly through licenses from the Northern Territory where tax rates are extremely low. The nation’s gambling market has been growing rapidly over the past several years and lawmakers have become extremely vocal about the fact that companies do not share a portion of their revenues with the states and territories where they operate. The growing discontent eventually culminated in the point of consumption tax buzz from the past year.

Poker Machines Reforms

The ACT government also reiterated its commitment to cutting the number of poker machines at local clubs to 4,000 by 2020. There are nearly 5,000 gambling machines across the Territory and these have long been blasted for their addictiveness and the fact that billions are being lost annually on them.

Local lawmakers have previously brought up for discussion a plan for a staged reduction in the number of poker machines, or pokies as there are known in Australia. The scheme requires clubs to hand a total of 985 gaming devices within the next two years.

The government announced today that an independent expert was commissioned to craft what was referred to as a Club Industry Diversification Support Package that would aim to help clubs diversify their non-gaming offering and reduce their reliance on revenue from poker machines.

Related News

CasinoNewsDaily is a media focused on providing daily news from the casino industry as well as in-depth gaming guides. Our guides cover roulette, blackjack, slots and video poker.
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Share on Reddit