New South Wales Government to Raise the Tax on Casino Starting July Next Year

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A scheme projected to generate more than $350 million in revenue for New South Wales (NSW) over three years would see casinos in the state start to pay a higher tax on earnings from table games and poker machines starting in July of next year.

According to Treasurer Matt Kean, these steps would help the state’s financial viability in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, bushfires, and floods. The government projects that the idea will generate about $364 million in revenue over the next three years.

“It’s important that casinos pay their fair share of tax. These reformed tax rates will replace the existing regime under which casinos pay less tax on poker machines than hotels and clubs,” Kean said.

“These changes will ensure that the casinos continue to make an appropriate contribution to the community and support the delivery of vital Government services,” he continued.

After Victoria announced recent revisions to the casino taxation laws in their Budget this year, Kean claims that the new poker machine rate will bring NSW on pace with Victoria. The government is anticipated to suggest a tiered taxing structure based on the Victorian regime, with a peak tax rate of 60.67% on casino poker machines.

“Casinos provide employment and entertainment for thousands of people across the State, and these changes will support the venues and ongoing contribution to the NSW economy,” Kean explained.

The Star Sydney and Crown Resorts’ Sydney casino at Barangaroo, which opened this year after more than two years of regulatory problems, will both be subject to the modifications, which go into effect amid volatility in the state’s gaming industry.

This month, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also brought a complaint for alleged money laundering against 11 current and former Star directors and executives.

Recent findings of several regulatory violations at Sydney’s Star Casino also led NSW casino authorities to suspend the establishment’s license with a record-breaking AUD 100 million.

It remains to be seen if Australian casinos can cope with this additional tax burden and the inevitable loss of profits, especially in light of the growing popularity of online betting portals.

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