SA Taxman Wants Bigger Piece of Punter Pie

Watch out South Australian racing punters. The state has found the revenue stream of the betting agencies irresistible and has introduced a 15 percent tax on net wagering revenue that will be applied to bets made in SA.

The tax is projected to bring $9 million per year into the tax coffers.

While opinions might vary according to political and economic dogmas, with some taking the position that use taxes are the fairest form, since the tax is avoidable by not taking part in the use being taxed; others take the position, hard to dispute by the way, that taxes of this sort cause the use being taxed to become either more scarce or more expensive.

The one absolute certainty is that the bookmakers will quickly take measures to ensure their profits. For racing punters, that could translate into such things as reduced promotions, poorer odds and increased margins.

SA is following the lead of the UK, which inaugurated a 15 percent tax on bookmaker profits in 2015, a measure currently being fought in the court system by gambling companies. Denmark imposed a 20 percent levy on gross online gaming revenue in 2014.

The SA plan will make it the first state to tax bookmakers on the place where their services are consumed as opposed to where the agencies are licensed.

Look out Northern Territory! SA is raiding your treasury!

For lovers of irony, SA will use the first $500,000 collected each year to fund the South Australian Gamblers’ Rehabilitation Fund.

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