Corporate bookmakers will see their tax rates substantially increase under a new racing industry funding model announced by the Queensland state government on Monday.
Under the revised plan, a new 5% racing levy will be added to the current Point of Consumption (POC) tax, while the POC itself will be broadened to include free and bonus bets. The government will also increase the proportion of betting tax revenue that goes directly to the racing industry from 35% currently to 80%.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said the measures would create a single funding stream and provide certainty to the racing industry.
“At present, a lot of the funding that goes to the racing industry is in the form of short-term government funding programs,” he said.
“Now, the industry will have the certainty of knowing they will get 80% of the betting tax, and if the size of the pie grows, so too will their share.
“The significant growth in online betting over the last few years has led to a very different wagering market in Queensland and we need to adapt.
“The Palaszczuk Government is levelling the playing field for all wagering operators and ensuring that organisations profiting from Queensland’s thriving racing industry are investing into its future too.”
The changes have been welcomed by Tabcorp, which had previously contributed a significant portion of annual funding to Queensland’s racing industry via agreements put in place in 2014. Those agreements – which saw Tabcorp pay 44.5% tax on its Queensland revenue in 2021 as opposed to the 35% it would have paid under these new arrangements – will now be unwound.
“Online betting has changed the market substantially since TAB’s licences were issued,” said Tabcorp Managing Director and CEO Adam Rytenskild.
“On a relative basis, TAB currently pays double the fees to the local racing industries compared to other wagering operators. Going forward we will all pay the same in Queensland. I commend the Queensland Government for delivering fair and much needed reforms that bring the wagering market into line with the modern economy.”
Queensland’s Racing Minister, Grace Grace, explained that the changes would also offer more sponsorship opportunities for the 125 racing clubs across Queensland.
“While Tabcorp will still offer oncourse betting services and retain retail exclusivity, its on-course ‘sponsorship and advertising’ exclusivity will end once these changes take effect,” she said.
“This means race clubs across Queensland will have opportunities to enter into new sponsorship agreements with other wagering service providers.”