A Victorian Government spokesman said ‘decisions on the POCT rate will be made in the best interest of Victorians and the racing industry’.
Most corporate bookmakers, including Ladbrokes, Sportingbet and Neds, hold a sports bookmaker’s license in the less taxed Northern Territory, although they operate nationwide, which means that the bulk of their profits goes abroad.
Online bookmakers’ lobby group Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), which recently appointed former Labor Minister Justin Madden as chief executive, strongly opposes any changes to consumption tax.
Following Queensland’s tax hike last week, the lobby group said the taxes “unfairly entrench the monopoly enjoyed by established, land-based betting service providers to the detriment of the new emerging online industry”.
Tabcorp has found an unlikely ally in its call to raise the tax on digital gambling losses with anti-gambling group, The Alliance for Gambling Reform, calling for an overhaul of the tax, licensing and advertising deals enjoyed by bookmakers in line.
Director Tim Costello said age foreign bookmakers can unfairly advertise and compete in the Australian market while sending their mega-profits overseas.
“Even at a 20% point of consumption tax (POCT), Victoria will recoup a bit more, but it’s still foreign companies not paying their fair share of tax,” Costello said.
He said one solution would be for the federal government to buy out the Northern Territory licenses, tax their profits and restrict their advertising.
While the State Coalition would not commit to raising the tax rate, shadow treasurer David Davis took to the campaign, questioning why Victoria would offer tax relief to overseas bookmakers over other states.
“There are legitimate questions about competitive neutrality between tax regimes in different jurisdictions,” Davis said.
“Why should we give tax breaks to foreign companies in direct competition with Victorian establishments? »
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