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The New South Wales government plans to raise the tax rate on poker machines

Date: 16.12.2022
As part of gambling reform, New South Wales has proposed raising taxes on poker machines. This decision was made after lobbying clubs expressed their dissatisfaction with the low rate currently in effect for casino operators.

Recently, government agencies have been striving for large-scale changes in the gambling industry. As part of these innovations, the New South Wales government has proposed taxing profits from poker machines at the same rate now applied to pubs and clubs.

The government calculated and concluded that if the new rate is effective from July 2023, it will help replenish the state budget by an additional $364 million over three years.

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet has said he wants to introduce universal cards. With their help, it will be possible to pay for gambling in a non-cash way. This idea was not supported by several people from his own cabinet. There was also a protest from the sector.

Matt Kean, Treasurer of New South Wales, supported the idea of a rate hike. She noted that the innovations will help protect and stabilize the budget, which has been hit hard by natural disasters and the pandemic. The Treasurer noted that the casino is a large and important employer, providing employment to many residents of the state. But, despite this, the owners of gambling establishments should also participate in the formation of the budget. According to the treasurer, casinos should pay fair taxes commensurate with income.

The Prime Minister of New South Wales said the changes to tax laws would help remedy the current situation where establishments are able to pay less for poker machines than clubs and hotels.

With the help of new rates, casinos will be able to continue to participate in the life of the population and the state. They will contribute to public life and help keep public services the same or better.

The idea of increasing stakes on poker machines in casinos is not new to Australia. At the beginning of 2022, the authorities of the state of Victoria did this. There, the Andrews government developed a plan for the state budget. According to the adopted strategy, Crown Casino in Victoria will pay more taxes on their poker machines from the beginning of 2023. In total, there are 2,600 of them in the institution. The increased rate will help replenish the state budget by $ 30 million a year.

Guardian Australia noted that the authorities in New South Wales will introduce a system similar to that used in the state of Victoria. It will have a tiered tax rate.

ClubsNSW are at war with the state authorities. This confrontation is connected with the desire of the government to introduce cashless gaming cards. ClubsNSW is against this and considers the initiative unfair.

Earlier in the Daily Telegraph, chief executive Joshua Landis shared his confusion and displeasure over why the Stars could pay lower taxes than the clubs.

In September 2022, Adam Bell SC’s report on the activities of the Star Entertainment group was made public. According to this document, the casino was considered unsuitable for obtaining a license in New South Wales.

The message spoke of the creation of an organized criminal group. A group of people was engaged in fraud, money laundering within the walls of the casino. Foreign interference has also been identified. This conclusion was made after a long observation and analysis of all operations carried out in the institution.

At the end of the document, 30 recommendations were made to improve the situation. One of them is the input of the game card. The report was prepared by the state commission for the investigation of crimes. The authorities have not yet responded to the document.

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