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Labor short-changing racing industry with point of consumption tax revenue

The Nationals WA have rejected a McGowan Government claim that the racing industry will be the major beneficiary of the soon-to-begin point of consumption (PoC) tax.

Racing and gaming spokesperson Colin Holt said the McGowan Government would keep the vast majority of revenue raised by the new tax, due to come into effect on 1 January 2019.

“The only way to ensure racing is the winner is by directing all revenue raised by the tax back to industry,” Mr Holt said.

“Make no mistake: the McGowan Government is the major beneficiary of the new point of consumption tax. Any statement to the contrary is purely spin.” 

Mr Holt said the PoC was a “tax on racing” yet the industry would only receive 30 per cent of the revenue back.

“The majority of the revenue will flow straight back into consolidated revenue for Labor to spend on whatever it sees fit – sadly, for regional communities, that most likely means it will be spent in Perth,” he said.  

Mr Holt said there had been no transparency on what the point of consumption tax would cost the WA TAB.

“My efforts to ascertain this information in Parliament have been blocked by the Government,” he said.

“As such, the industry can have no confidence that a 30 per cent return will cover the cost of the tax.”

Mr Holt said a press release issued by the State Government this week stating the PoC will improve the competitive position of bricks and mortar TAB agents had “no basis whatsoever”.

“The tax is not something that is visible to the punter and will do nothing to ensure a return to retail outlets from digital wagering,” he said.

“The Treasurer must explain to WA TAB agents what he meant by saying the PoC tax was a ‘significant victory’ for them.

“The corporate bookmakers only compete in the digital space. TAB Agents are retail driven so I fail to see how taxing online operators more is going to have any effect on physical TAB outlets.”

Mr Holt said The Nationals would continue to work with the WA TAB Agents Association to ensure the best interests of the 120 small business owners across the State which made up the retail network were front of mind during the TAB sale process.