Tasmania is set to become the last state in Australia to announce a gaming tax, with the news that it will levy a 15% point of consumption charge on all net gaming revenues in the state.
According to a statement released by State Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, the tax, which will amount to 15% of the net wagering revenue of betting companies will come into effect on January 1, 2020. This leaves a relatively short time for operators to adjust, but the Tasmanian government hopes to raise as much as $5 million in revenue as a result of the new tax.
The proposed rate of tax is similar to that levied by the state governments of Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia, but is higher than the 10% tax imposed on operators in New South Wales and nearly double the Victorian 8% tax rate.
The tax plan also includes an exemption on initial betting turnover that is said to be worth
$101,981, but despite this concession, it has been criticised by representatives of gambling operators in Australia, including the Responsible Wagering Australia group, whose chairman, Nick Minchin, said that the new tax rate would mean Tasmania’s betting tax is at a higher level than any other state, and claimed that the evidence from South Australia showed that such a tax would have a serious impact:
“That is why it is so disappointing the Tasmanian government has ignored the evidence and decided to hit ordinary Tasmanians with this new tax.”
But the proposal will not come as a complete surprise to the betting industry in Tasmania, having originally been suggested back in May. According to reports, legislation to bring it into effect will be discussed in the Tasmanian parliament during November.