Thursday April 28,2016 : NEW TAX CHALLENGES LOOM FOR AUSSIE BOOKMAKERS
Low tax rates in the Northern Territory questioned.
Local media reports from Australia claim that locally-based bookmaking firms are facing a new challenge as political questions are asked about the low tax rates in the Northern Territory, which have encouraged a number of gambling companies to licence there.
Federal government ministers have reportedly been advised by lobbyists that the state could be missing out on additional tax revenues of over $300 million in the present situation.
The reports of tax inequalities compared with other Australian provinces come on the eve of an annual meeting Friday in Alice Springs which will be attended by representatives from several foreign-owned betting firms.
Online bookmaking companies licensed in the Northern Territory pay a relatively low annual tax of A$550,000 each, giving them an advantage over long-established Australian-owned gambling groups in other provinces like Tabcorp and Tatts.
Opponents of the Northern Territory tax regime claim that the low rate prejudices other provinces and funding for the horse racing industry, and have urged the federal government to insist on change or risk federal intervention in the possible form of a national online wagering tax.
Such a solution would have to take into account the additional taxes and levies paid by Tatts and Tabcorp to the racing industry, one analyst opined, making it a complex issue.
There has been speculation that a ten percent blanket tax levied on a point-of-consumption basis as applied by the UK may be under consideration, but as the analyst pointed out, that could have a seriously detrimental impact on international bookmakers who have licensed and set up business in Australia.
Even the Australian Hotel Association weighed in on the tax inequality issue, with chief executive Stephen Ferguson saying this week that he had advised the federal government that there was a tax revenue opportunity for them in the online gambling sector.