Welfare group calls for online betting tax amendments

An Australian welfare group wants changes to Australian online betting laws to ensure taxes are paid where the bets are made, local media reports.

The South Australian Council of Social Services says that jurisdictions such as the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island are potentially being used to avoid tax as laws allow companies to be taxed where they are licensed rather than where bets are placed.

“When a gambling corporation does not have to be incorporated or resident in a jurisdiction, but can still use the licence of a jurisdiction like Norfolk Island to lessen their taxes, I think we have gone beyond real business and are talking about virtual tax havens and (legal) tax avoidance,” said chief executive Ross Womersley.

“Because of the way the licence arrangements are made, South Australia is missing out on a whole lot of tax income.”

Womersley said a change in online betting taxation needs is a must.

“Given that the gambling industry generates a high level of problems, major issues in our community, we think that it’s absolutely important that the industry meets its social responsibilities in the form of taxation,” said Womersley.