The Australian Wagering Council (AWC) has hit out at proposed plans by the South Australian State Government to implement a ‘place of consumption’ (PoC) tax on betting operators.The AWC claimed that the plan to place the tax on operators in the region was “untenable in practice”.
The plans to put a 15% tax on where bets are placed, rather than where the company itself is based were announced last week by the State Government. There is currently a lower tax rate for companies based outside the region of South Australia.The government expects the new taxes to raise up to Aus$9.2 million (€6.2 million) in new revenue every year.
Despite the State Governments confidence in their plans, Ian Fletcher, Chief Executive of the AWC has warned that it could have some severe repercussions. “This tax will significantly impact the ability of Australian licensed wagering providers to operate in the South Australian market and give a free kick to unlicensed offshore operators, who are merely a mouse click away and who pay no tax in Australia,” Fletcher said in a statement.
“The unintended consequences of a place of consumption tax will adversely affect government, consumers and racing and sporting bodies; it is untenable in practice.“AWC members already have existing financial obligations in the form of federal taxes, state licensing fees and product fees – effectively a form of direct tax – paid to racing and sporting bodies.“The imposition of a ‘place of consumption tax’ would significantly increase the taxation burden.“Small or boutique operators may become economically unviable and either fold or consolidate their businesses; other operators may choose not to service South Australian customers.“Offshore operators pay no government tax and no industry tax in the form of product fees, so the revenue to government, racing and sport will actually decrease with an increase in offshore wagering activity.”