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SACOSS Urges for Australian Gambling Taxation Reforms

Australian gambling taxation

According to the South Australian Council of Social Service, the current Australian gambling taxation system established a tax heaven for sports betting operators.  

The peak body for the non-government health and community services sector in South Australia, SACOSS, is urging for significant changes to the Australian gambling taxation system. As stated by their article, Australian sports betting operators are taxed in the jurisdiction where they obtained their license, instead of the jurisdiction where the bets are placed. 

”We have gone beyond real business and are talking about virtual tax havens and (legal) tax avoidance.” 

SACOSS highlights that the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island became virtual gambling tax havens for major online bookmakers such as Bet365 and William Hill. “Sports betting is already lightly taxed by comparison with poker machines and lotteries,” explains SACOSS CEO, Ross Womersley. Currently, operators transfer next to nothing in taxes to South Australia, which means that they must “pay for the damages caused by problem gambling” from other sources.

Time for a new Australian gambling taxation system

“Given that the gambling industry generates […] major issues in our community, we think that it’s absolutely important that the industry meets its social responsibilities in the form of taxation,” says Womersley, urging for a different taxation system. He also mentions the leak of Panama papers, emphasizing that “the world is well aware of the issue of corporations gaming tax systems to their advantage.”

SACOSS calls for a new Australian gambling taxation system, based on the place where the money was spent, “not where some corporate licence is nominally held.” According to Australian gambling news, in the 2013-14 financial year the gambling taxation revenue of the Northern Territory was AUD 58,04 million, 10,6% of the territory’s total taxes. In May, SACOSS will release a report on the Australian gambling taxation system.

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