- The McGowan Government has decided to proceed with the sale of the WA TAB
- Decision ends years of uncertainty, provides financial security and follows extensive consultation with the racing industry and key stakeholders
- A streamlining of wagering taxes will be achieved via a 'point of consumption tax', to ensure foreign-owned corporate bookmakers pay their fair share back to WA
- Reform package secures the long-term sustainability of the racing industry
The McGowan Labor Government has announced a historic reform package for the racing industry to end uncertainty and secure its long-term sustainability.
Following extensive consultation with the racing industry and other stakeholders, the State Government will move forward with the sale of the WA TAB and also introduce a 'point of consumption tax' which streamlines taxes for the industry, while also ensuring that foreign-owned corporate bookmakers pay their fair share.
The 15 per cent 'point of consumption tax' formed part of the McGowan Government's first Budget, with legislation to be introduced into State Parliament this week to have the streamlined wagering tax system in place by January 1, 2019.
The 'point of consumption tax' will be levied on the profits made by all betting operators from bets placed by Western Australians, irrespective of where the operator taking the bet is licensed. Under current arrangements, wagering taxes in WA are levied on the basis of where the betting operator is licensed.
Importantly, by streamlining wagering taxes, the new 'point of consumption tax' will mean for the first time, online and foreign-owned corporate bookmakers will have to pay tax in WA, with the WA racing industry to receive 30 per cent of total revenue collected.
The McGowan Government engaged constructively with key stakeholders before making its decision to proceed with the sale of the TAB, including hosting metropolitan and regional forums and receiving 107 written submissions in response to the discussion paper released in June.
The long-term interests of the racing industry will be front of mind throughout the sale process, with the Government's objectives to:
- Support an independently sustainable and competitive racing industry;
- Optimise value for both the State and the racing industry;
- Ensure the integrity of racing and wagering activities in WA are maintained; and
- Conduct a fair and robust process.
The next major milestone for the sale of the TAB will be the introduction of enabling legislation into State Parliament early in 2019, which will set out the framework for establishing the new wagering licence regime and racing industry funding model.
The decision to sell the TAB will also secure the future financial viability of the WA racing industry, with the industry receiving the same operational funding levels and 35 per cent of the sale proceeds set aside for a dedicated racing infrastructure fund.
Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:
"This is the most significant reform package put forward for the racing industry in its history, and is in the best interests of the whole State and our WA racing industry.
"This package also goes well beyond our initial commitment of leaving the industry no worse off, in fact these reforms will result in our racing industry being significantly better off."
Comments attributed to Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia:
"I thank the racing industry and other stakeholders for their constructive engagement in the consultation process.
"The majority view of the WA racing industry is that selling the TAB is in the best interest of the industry across the State, from Perth and throughout regional WA.
"The McGowan Government is committed to ending the years of uncertainty and securing the long-term interests of our racing industry.
"The reforms deliver an ongoing funding stream for the industry that will increase in line with future growth in wagering in Western Australia, including from online betting."
Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
Racing and Gaming Minister's office - 6552 5600