RWA dismay as Tasmania confirms 15% PoC tax

8 October 2019

The Tasmanian Government has announced that it will introduce a new Point of Consumption Tax on wagering from 1 January, 2020, but Responsible Wagering Australia has criticised the move saying it could harm the racing industry in the Australian state.

Following consultation with industry stakeholders, the Government has set the PoC tax rate at 15% of the net wagering revenue of betting operators, but will exclude the face value of free bets provided to punters.

The Government said the rate is consistent with most other jurisdictions in the country and also added that there will be a tax-free threshold of AUD$150,000 (£82,538/€92,120/US$101,253) in betting turnover.

Legislation to bring the new tax into effect will be introduced in the Tasmanian Parliament next month.

According to the Government, the new PoC tax could help bring in an additional AUD$5m in revenue each year, with the net benefits of this to be shared with the local racing industry.

However, the Responsible Wagering Australia has said the move could instead have a negative impact on Tasmania’s racing industry.

Hon Nick Minchin AO, chairman of Responsible Wagering Australia, said he is disappointed with the decision to introduce what he described as “one of the highest taxes on wagering anywhere in the world”.

He said the 15% rate is almost double that introduced in Victoria, while in South Australia, where the rate is also 15%, the state's racing industry has been badly affected.

“The 15% Point of Consumption Tax introduced in South Australia threw a handbrake on that state’s racing industry and has almost brought it to its knees,” Minchin said. “Prize money has been cut, field sizes have shrunk, participants have fled interstate and jobs have been lost.

“Starting off a much lower base, the Tasmanian Government has today put that same handbrake onto Tasmanian racing and thrown its future into massive uncertainty.

Minchin also pointed out that the Tasmanian Liberal Government will be taxing taxing Tasmanians at a higher rate than any other Australian state.

“The evidence is now well settled when it comes to the deleterious impact of these punitive taxes on racing and jobs,” Minchin said. “That is why it is so disappointing the Tasmanian Government has ignored the evidence and decided to hit ordinary Tasmanians with this new tax.”

Image: Chuq