In Gaming - On-site betting by Clyde Mooney

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The new Point of Consumption tax on online wagering in NSW closes a loophole benefitting internet betting companies, and represents a step toward fair play for venues.

NSW Liquor & Gaming has announced the new PoC tax of ten per cent on all bets placed online and via telephone by NSW residents, regardless of where the wagering operator is located.

The tax tightens regulation that has previously benefitted companies basing themselves offshore or in less stringent jurisdictions, including the Northern Territory, giving them an advantage over brick and mortar locations.

“The AHA NSW supports the implementation of a point of consumption tax which will help the 1,160 NSW PubTABs compete on a level playing field,” offered CEO John Whelan.

“A strong ‘in venue’ racing and wagering offering is very important to NSW hotels, which pay tens of millions each year in Sky fees to broadcast the races for our patrons.”

The racing industry will receive two per cent of total taxable wagering revenue in NSW, to ensure it is not negatively impacted by the tax.

Amid the rise in digital betting and well-backed players attacking the market, focus has sharpened on the geographical disadvantages of many traditional businesses.

“Recently we’ve seen corporate bookmakers based outside NSW spend significant funds on advertising to lure our patrons away from NSW PubTABs. It is appropriate these interstate corporate bookies also pay a fair rate of tax,” says Whelan.

The NSW regulator projects the PoC tax will generate $5 million annually, which will go to the Responsible Gambling Fund (RGF) to expand its work in preventing and reducing gambling harms.

In 2018/19 the RGF will spend $25 million to support harm minimisation and prevention programs, furthering initiatives such as the Betiquette advertising campaign in 2017, targeting men aged 18-35, who represent the majority of sports bet-makers.

Legislation for the new PoC tax was introduced in NSW Parliament 17 October, and is expected to commence 1 January 2019.