New 8% Tax on Victorias Online Betting Agencies

Point-of-Consumption Betting Tax for Victoria

There are critics on both sides of the new betting tax in Victoria, with some wishing to lower the amount and others wishing to raise it.

There is a new 8% tax that will be imposed on Victoria's online betting agencies. The point-of-consumption taxation will bring in a lot more state revenue, while still being much smaller than a similar tax in other states. The new tax will be implemented from the beginning of 2019.

Estimated $30 Million a Year for Victoria

Tim Pallas, the Victoria State Treasurer announced the new 8% point-of-consumption tax earlier this week. He explained that the additional taxation would bring in approximately $30 million for Victoria's state coffers each year.

As always, there has been much argument about additional taxation. There are those who support point-of-consumption tax on betting businesses, while others are opposed to the tax. Those who criticize the gambling industry have been vocal about the size of the new tax in Victoria. Critics feel that the amount of tax levied should fall in line with the 15% taxation that is, or will be, levied other states. South Australia introduced a 15% point-of-consumption tax in July, and Western Australia has announced a similar 15% tax starting in January. Queensland has plans to do the same.

The dissatisfied anti-gambling groups feel that the point-of-consumption tax should have been set at least as high as other states at 15%. The anti-gambling lobby prefers higher taxation in order to discourage people from betting. Anti-gambling lobbyists want to ensure that the state's income from this new tax is used for hospitals and social welfare.

On the other side, corporate bookmakers and gambling lobbyists expressed concern that jobs will be put at risk with the new tax, and that it should be lower than 8%. Tabcorp-Tatts expressed that a national tax rate would be preferable.

In Defense of the 8% Tax

Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) has expressed its disappointment in the 8% tax Stephen Conroy, the RWA's Executive Director, noted the following: "The online wagering industry already pays a significant amount of consumption tax through the GST, as well as corporate income tax to the federal government. An 8% tax does not adequately account for these significant contributions, and will result in Victoria having one of the highest effective wagering tax rates in the world."

Pallas, the Victoria State Treasurer, defended the taxation amount by noting that the state has no desire to harm the betting industry. He noted: "We will continue to consult the industry and other stakeholders as we finalize legislation to implement the point-of-consumption tax."