Queensland Government Rolls Out New Point of Consumption Gambling Tax

Queensland will be the third Australian state to implement a point of consumption tax on betting revenue after South Australia and Victoria announced similar moves earlier this year. The state’s new taxation regime will come into effect on October 1, 2018.

The new tax was announced today and is part of Queensland’s budget for the upcoming 2018/2019 financial year. The point of consumption regime will require betting operators licensed in Australia to pay 15% on net wagering revenue generated from Queensland residents.

Under the new regime, operators that generate annual turnover of less than A$300,000 will not be required to pay the point of consumption tax. It is believed that that particular measure was adopted to protect smaller companies operating in Australia’s highly competitive betting space.

It is expected that the point of consumption tax will generate revenue of A$70.9 million during the first year after its implementation.

Queensland has become the third state to introduce a new betting tax after the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria governments confirmed the implementation of similar betting regimes. New South Wales, Western Australia, and Tasmania are expected to follow suit. The purpose of the new tax is to ensure that Australian states and territories where remote betting services are conducted by operators licensed anywhere in the nation reap revenue benefits from these operations.

Australia has been one of the markets where sports betting has been thriving. Local bettors have thus been targeted by some of the world’s largest gambling companies, with those mainly being licensed in the Northern Territory due to its lower taxes. Being licensed elsewhere, operators are not legally obligated to contribute a portion of their revenues to the jurisdictions they operate in, unless there is a law requiring such revenue contributions.

The ACT’s tax regime will take effect on January 1, 2019. Just as in Queensland, betting operations will be taxed at 15% on revenue from ACT customers. In Victoria, the new tax will replace the state’s existing taxation structures on January 1, 2019, but companies will be taxed at 8% on their local revenue.

Tax Revenue Allocation

The Queensland government did not include information about how tax proceeds from licensed betting operations would be allocated. MPs said they will first consult the state’s racing industry and other stakeholders to determine the channels money would be directed to.

Racing Queensland, the board that services the state’s racing industry across its greyhound, harness, and thoroughbred codes, has previously said that racing tax money should be contributed to the local racing industry. It is yet to be seen how big its share from the future point of consumption tax proceeds is going to be.

In a statement following today’s announcement, Racing Queensland said that they consider it encouraging that state MPs are listening carefully to concerns “raised by all industry stakeholders on how POC tax receipts on racing could be applied to sustain and grow racing.”

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