Australian bookmaker Sportsbet is bracing itself for a wave of new internet betting taxes expected to hit the land down under in the coming weeks.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Victoria and New South Wales will roll out details of their respective betting taxes with a single theme: bookmakers will be taxed on the area where the bets are made.
At present, South Australia is the only Australian jurisdiction that has implemented a 15 percent point-of-consumption tax.
Among Australia-based bookmakers, Sportsbet is reportedly the first to express confidence that it can withstand a deluge of new taxes to be implemented in the country’s two biggest betting states.
Sportsbet, the local brand of UK-listed bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair, gobbled up 26 percent of Australia’s online gambling market last year. Sportsbet’s earnings rose 39 percent to a record $183.33 million in 2017.
In terms of market share, Sportsbet ranks behind Tabcorp’s 33 percent but ahead of the newly merged CrownBet and William Hill, which accounts for a combined 17 percent. Ladbrokes trails behind with 12 percent, while Bet365 has just 4 percent.
“Currently, point-of-consumption taxes are payable in South Australia, have been announced in Western Australia and we expect the other states to announce their intentions in coming months,” the company said. “Sportsbet is in a good position to withstand increased taxes and benefit from any market consolidation.”
Following the announcement of Sportsbet’s 2017 financial results, the Alliance for Gambling Reform (AGR) has urged the both the Victorian and New South Wales governments to swiftly implement the point-of-consumption tax on bookmakers.
The AGR’s Tim Costello accused bookmakers of intense lobbying aimed at persuading government officials to delay the implementation of the new taxes.
“State governments need to demonstrate they are not captive of the gambling lobby, particularly these foreign companies like Sportsbet which pay minuscule licence fees to the Northern Territory government,” Costello said.