Australian Sports Betting Tax Proposed by Senator McKenzie

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An Australian senator is trying to impose a new federal tax on gambling Down Under after becoming concerned that sports betting is the country’s fastest-growing market but incurs minimal taxation.

Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie wants to see a uniform 0.05% federal tax and has made a formal submission to the government’s tax review committee.

McKenzie is also concerned at the amount of remote online sportsbooks accepting Australians and wants to compensate states that are losing out.

She argued: “Banking and other tools should be used to prohibit Australians wagering on foreign operators – the USA has used such tools.”

McKenzie will follow up the proposal in a speech when federal parliament resumes next week.

Aussie Government Reviewing Taxes
The government is reviewing its entire tax system and McKenzie will urge prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to use this opportunity to revamp gambling tax. McKenzie believes the current legal framework – which is different in every state, just as it is in the US – does not provide the revenue the government needs. She argues that a blanket federal tax would better preserve Australia’s national, economic and social interests.

McKenzie estimates that her proposal will rake in an extra AUS$350 million per year, and she wants to see the money distributed across the states that regulate gambling to fund services that combat irresponsible gambling, along with regional development projects and sporting infrastructure schemes in those states.

McKenzie is proposing a range of measures to stop Australians being siphoned off and targeted by foreign bookmakers. The new model would defend existing revenues, stem leakages and provide a fair tax and levy scheme to “enhance the viability of operators licensed in Australia”. 

Players can find a list of sportsbooks serving Australia using the sportsbook rating guide.

Sportsbook Review reported on Australia's weird stance on live betting recently. The country has specific laws prohibiting online bookies from offering in-play betting. Online sportsbooks who are in violation of the federal legislation face $250M AUD fines.

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