Australia’s new South Wales Imposes Online Gambling Tax

The Australian state of New South Wales will impose a 10 percent point of consumption tax on online gambling. Most Australian states have now imposed or are considering point of consumption taxes on online gambling, though rates vary for each individual state. Only Tasmania and the country’s Northern territory have yet to impose any tax on online gambling.

New South Wales is the latest Australian state to impose a point of consumption tax on online gambling.

The state announced a 10 percent tax on online wagers placed by its residents regardless of where the gambling p0latform they use is located. The announcement came in its 2019 state budget and the tax will go into effect in January.

Only Australia’s Northern territory and Tasmania have yet to impose some type of taxation on online bets. Several bookmakers, including Sportsbet, CrownBet, and Bet365, are registered in the Northern Territory, while the merging Tabcorp and Tatts Group are based in New South Wales and Victoria.

Last month, Victoria announced an 8 percent tax on online wagers, also scheduled to begin in January. South Australia introduced a 15 percent tax last year, with Western Australia scheduled to implement a 15 percent tax in 2019. Queensland will also begin a 15 percent tax in October.

New South Wales tax includes a tax-free threshold of $1 million per year for all operators and the horse racing industry will receive additional funding of 2 percent of all net wagering revenue in New South Wales—similar to the tax plan adopted by Victoria.

“This decision will resolve the disconnect between the jurisdiction where gambling activity occurs and where it is taxed,” said NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet in a press release. “We also want to make sure that the racing industry is no worse off under these changes, which is why we have taken steps to ensure that they share in additional revenue and that existing parity arrangements are unchanged.”

The tax is expected to generate $40 million in its first six months to the end of FY19, rising to $100 million in its first full financial year to June 2020, the release said. Revenue to the racing industry for each full financial year is expected to be around $40 million.

In another Australian story, a new report found that the use of mobile phones to make bets is fueling growth in the country’s online gambling market.

The report by Roy Morgan Research found that while the total number of Australians engaged in placing bets on horseracing, harness racing, greyhound racing or other sports events declined year-on-year as of March 2018, the number of gamblers using their mobile devices to place wagers is increasing at a steady pace.

Though options for online bettors have been falling as several large betting firms have left the country’s market in wake of the new taxes and stiff regulatory enforcement, the study found that the total number of Australians looking to place their bets on the internet has been growing exponentially, with 34.1 percent of Australian gamblers placing bets online up from just 15.7 percent six months previously.