Regional racing clubs are feeling the pinch thanks to the flow-on effects of the State Government’s consumption tax.
The ‘betting operations tax’ is a consumption tax of 15 per cent on the net wagering revenue of betting companies that offer services to South Australian residents.
All bets placed in SA with Australian-based betting companies are liable for the tax, which has reportedly net the State Government about $16 million per annum.
SA’s tax, introduced in July 2017, is significantly higher than NSW (10 per cent) and Victoria (eight per cent), which were only introduced in January 2019.
With a significantly higher tax rate in SA, there is less incentive for bookmakers to promote SA racing, which in turn will see a downturn in income for local industries.
The three codes of racing- harness, thoroughbred and greyhounds – along with any other forms of betting, are suffering from this tax, and are starting to make some noise to the State Government, starting with a state-wide petition launched by BOTRA (SA Breeders, Owners, Trainers and Reinsperson’s Association).
Having an equivalent tax like Victoria could alleviate the preferential treatment given to interstate meets by corporate bookies, and the domino effect this has on trainers, breeders and local venues, such as Balaklava Racing Club and Gawler Greyhounds.
• Pictured: BOTRA committee member, Ross Cummins, with BOTRA president, Lois Randall, holding the petition.
BOTRA petitions for fair tax deal
SA Breeders, Owners, Trainers and Reinsperson’s Association (BOTRA) is circulating a petition state wide asking for a fairer deal on a tax introduced last year.
In July 2017, the state government introduced a consumption tax of 15 per cent on the Net Wagering Revenue of betting companies offering services to South Australia.
All bets placed by South Australian residents with Australian-based betting companies will be liable for the tax.
Other states, like Victoria and New South Wales, have also introduced this tax with their tax being eight and 10 per cent respectively, however, their tax is not only less than South Australia’s 15 per cent, it was not introduced until January 1 this year.
The three codes are suffering from this tax, which they estimate has affected turnover by some 10 per cent.
Harness Racing in South Australia already carries the lowest prize money on its races than any other state in the nation.
Harness Racing, like the thoroughbred industry, is not looking for a hand out, but rather a sustainable ongoing return that will help boost the industry and save jobs.
In both codes, the industry has seen trainers looking to move interstate and from a harness point of view and said it can’t afford to lose anyone from an already diminishing pool of trainers, drivers and most importantly, owners.
If anyone has yet to sign the petition circulating throughout the area, please call BOTRA on 0402978424 and add your name.
BOTRA is hoping to have 2000 signatures by the end of February, and it will then be presented to the Marshall Government.