Only days after Australia passed amendments to black out its online gaming market, the federal government has announced plans for Point of Consumption tax similar to that used in the UK.
At the end of March federal treasurer Scott Morrison said an agreement had been reached to start preparing for a uniform PoC approach across Australia, applied to all domestic or international igaming revenues.
Now this is a very important issue both from a revenue perspective but frankly more important from a social perspective
“We were able to agree, subject to state and territory governments’ conferring again with their cabinets – and with the reservation of the Northern Territory – to move forward to prepare a proposal for a nationally consistent approach to (a) point of consumption tax on online gaming,” said Morrison.
Discussing the plan in a qualifying note the minister advised the scheme would be about more than “revenue for revenue’s sake” but also aimed at minimising gambling-related harm for consumers and to protect the integrity of national sporting bodies.
“Now this is a very important issue both from a revenue perspective but frankly more important from a social perspective,” he added. “And we all agreed that it was necessary to work on a nationally consistent approach. Already in South Australia there is legislation that’s dealing with this and so that provides a good starting place to look at models.”
The PoC tax likely to be adopted would be 15- 20 percent of all online gaming revenue from Australian players. The tax will require operators to reduce their overheads to survive in Australia, just as it has done in the UK.
The government blocked all igaming operators without a licence last month, but without offering a process for obtaining one. As PoC tax, while restrictive, would reopen the lucrative market.