Sports betting operators in Australia have decided to protest together against the intention of the South Australian authorities to impose a new 15% online betting tax. The campaign against this innovation in taxation was initiated by the Australian Wagering Council. This organization includes Bet365, Betfair, Sportsbet, and Unibet.
According to plans of the local authorities, the new regulations will be valid from July 1, 2017. The lawmakers believe that the new tax will allow the Australian state to collect extra $9.2 million annually. If the tax is indeed as efficient as it is supposed to be, many other states will surely follow an example of South Australia.
The Australian Wagering Council will use any available tools to promote its attitude to the new tax. We are talking about e-mail, social networks, advertisements in media, etc.
Tom Koutsantonis, treasurer of South Australia, announced that $500,000 from taxes would be used for the local Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund. Cormac Barry, CEO of Sportsbet, intended to provide this donation directly. However, Tom Koutsantonis refused.
The online bookmakers believe that this tax will have an extremely negative impact on the local racing and sports betting industries, since the new taxation is able to make these sectors of gambling unfavorable and futureless to investors. Therefore, operators will have only two opportunities. It is possible either to exit the market or to increase the price of services. However, in the second case, customers will be forced to search for new offers from other betting operators in order to reduce their costs.
Cormac Barry reported that Koutsantonis was not interested in bettors and the future of the betting industry in the region.