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New Tax Laws Set for Western Australia’s Online Bookmakers

by Glenn Baird - September 9, 2017

Online bookmakers in Western Australia are set to face a new wagering tax from 2019.

It was revealed last week during the state government’s budget that a point of consumption tax, similar to new tax laws brought in by South Australia earlier this year, amounting to 15% will be introduced in two years.

Criticism of the impending tax laws was levelled by The Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) who believe that states operating tax laws independently will impact negatively on attempt to develop national policy.

The RWA confirmed this in a statement saying that:

“The WA Government’s decision needlessly puts at risk the potential of achieving nationally harmonised approaches to taxation and consumer protection in the wagering industry.”

Stephen Conroy, the RWA’s executive director, said the new wagering tax would lead to increased costs for the customer. He said:

“The resulting downturn in wagering in the state will result in lower returns to the state’s racing industry and an increased reliance on government funding.”

Accompanying the new tax will be laws that will ban certain offers and bonuses being offered by online bookmakers.
Sign up bonuses and refer a friend bonuses are set to go. However, it is likely that all bonuses will be on the way out as the usual wagering requirements will also be banned, meaning that most bookies won’t see the value in offering any.

By the end of 2017 a nation self-exclusion register will be in place and by June next year all customers will have to set a deposit limit on their accounts.

All of this comes on the back of the prohibition of online casinos and poker rooms in Australia as the government looks to tackle concerns over problem gambling.