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State Govt's new $9 million gambling tax

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The State Government will raise more than $9 million a year with the imposition of a new gambling tax, Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has revealed.

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Next month’s State Budget will include a new “place of consumption” tax of 15 per cent, to be levied from July 1 next year on the “Net Wagering Revenue” of betting companies offering services in South Australia.

That means any bets placed in SA with Australian-based betting companies will be subject to the impost.

The tax will apply to horse, harness and greyhound racing, as well as bets on sports including AFL, cricket and soccer.

The Treasurer said it would similarly apply to other bets including those on the upcoming federal election.

It will be levied on betting companies such as UBet, and other SA-licensed bookmakers, authorised interstate betting operators – including TABs – and corporate bookmakers such as Sportsbet and Ladbrokes.

It’s expected to raise $9.2 million each year in new revenue, of which Koutsantonis said $500,000 would be contributed annually to the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund.

“The betting industry is rapidly changing and our tax regime needs to change with it,” he said.

“If betting companies are making profits from South Australian punters they should be paying tax in South Australia, not in whichever jurisdiction their head office and servers happen to be located… by implementing a wagering tax based on the place of consumption, we are ensuring that businesses are paying taxes in the jurisdiction in which they are making their money.”

“The harm is being done here… and we as a state and a community are left to pick up the pieces.”

Koutsantonis said it was “important that this revenue be taxed, because it’s money foregone from the SA community”.

However, he insisted he wanted “to keep the administration costs down”.

“Nothing infuriates people more than a tax that costs more to administer than it generates, so we’ll be having a tax free threshold of $150,000,” he said.

Asked about potential blowback from the gaming industry, the Treasurer said: “Bring it on.”

“If the industry don’t like this, if they think they can raise all this revenue and pay not taxes, I think that’s ridiculous,” he said.

The announcement comes just days after Opposition Leader Steven Marshall called on the Government to rule out any new taxes and charges in the budget.

But Marshall said today his party was “positive towards closing any loophole where tax which should be paid in SA is being paid in other jurisdictions”.

“That said, we are yet to see the detail of this,” he said.

“The Government has called a press conference without providing the Opposition with that detail but we’ll look at it.”

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