Racing industry fears $30m hit from punter tax
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.