Australian welfare group calls for online gambling tax reforms

12 April 2016

An Australian welfare group has called on the country’s government to change laws surrounding online gambling in the country to ensure that taxes are paid where bets are placed.

The South Australian Council of Social Services has said the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island regions of the country are potentially being used to avoid tax as current laws state that companies are charged in the jurisdiction where they are based, rather than where a bet is placed.

According to 9News, Ross Womersley, chief executive of the welfare group, said that the current legal system means the state is missing out on tax income, calling for the government to change laws to instead tax companies where bets are placed.

“When a gambling corporation does not have to be incorporated or resident in a jurisdiction, but can still use the licence of a jurisdiction like Norfolk Island to lessen their taxes, I think we have gone beyond real business and are talking about virtual tax havens and (legal) tax avoidance,” Womersley said.

“Because of the way the licence arrangements are made, South Australia is missing out on a whole lot of tax income.

“Given that the gambling industry generates a high level of problems, major issues in our community, we think that it's absolutely important that the industry meets its social responsibilities in the form of taxation.”

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