Rac­ing in­dus­try fears $30m hit from punter tax

The West Australian - - NEWS -

WA’s rac­ing in­dus­try has urged the McGowan Gov­ern­ment not to rush into a “pun­ters tax”, warn­ing that a badly de­signed im­post could cost the sec­tor up to $30 mil­lion a year.

With plans by the Gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment a so-called point of con­sump­tion tax, which could pos­si­bly be in­cluded in next week’s State Bud­get, the rac­ing in­dus­try has called for cau­tion.

The WA Rac­ing Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Group, which rep­re­sents rac­ing clubs, train­ers, own­ers and other in­dus­try par­tic­i­pants, said it was not op­posed to the tax. But the group warned that it could re­sult in a num­ber of ex­ist­ing taxes and fees be­ing “dou­bled taxed”, which would cost the in­dus­try $20 mil­lion$30 mil­lion a year.

Rac­ing Min­is­ter Paul Pa­palia wants WA to fol­low South Aus­tralia’s lead in adopt­ing a point of con­sump­tion tax, which would ap­ply at a rate of 15 per cent on all rac­ing and sports bets made in WA and raise up to $70 mil­lion a year.

Mr Pa­palia has pre­vi­ously sug­gested the tax is needed to stop the “leak­age” of wa­ger­ing rev­enue to on­line book­mak­ers based in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory, where they pay lit­tle tax. WARRG chair­man Michael Grant said the idea be­hind the tax was fun­da­men­tally sound but he was wor­ried a hastily in­tro­duced and badly de­signed ver­sion could do more harm than good.

Mr Pa­palia said the pri­or­ity was the sus­tain­abil­ity of the State’s rac­ing codes.

Daniel Mercer

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