State Government moves to protect racing jobs

The State Government has announced it will provide $4.85 million to South Australia’s racing industry to protect local jobs and help offset losses incurred as a result of the betting operations tax.

Under the former Labor administration, South Australia was the first state in the country to introduce the tax on bets made by SA racing and sports fans with corporate booking agencies, which prompted counter measures by bookmakers.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing Corey Wingard said he was pleased to be able to secure Racing SA the one-off grant to help support the important work of Thoroughbred Racing SA, Greyhound Racing SA and Harness Racing SA.

“The state’s $400 million racing industry is enormously valuable to our economy and supports 3,600 South Australian jobs, from trainers and jockeys to all other support staff,’’ said Minister Wingard.

“The industry has been rightly concerned by what they perceived to be flow-on, punitive measures taken by some corporate bookmakers as a result of the betting operations tax.

“Racing SA has raised concerns corporate bookmakers placed SA horse, harness and greyhound races at the bottom of the list of races being held on their respective websites, and withdrew offers to SA customers which are available in other states.

“They’ve reported significant revenue losses in the past year which could potentially result in job losses throughout the industry.

“That’s why the State Government is providing this assistance, to ensure the viability of an important industry that supports thousands of South Australian jobs.”

Frances Nelson QC, Chair of Racing SA and Thoroughbred Racing SA, said that the SA Racing Industry was very appreciative of the funding provided by the State Government to help offset the Industry’s losses as a result of the introduction of the betting operations tax in SA. 

“The Government’s immediate response to the Industry’s request for support averted a potential crisis for racing in our state, which would have impacted on jobs and investment in the Industry, and the economy itself,” said Frances Nelson QC.

The betting operations tax – introduced on July 1, 2017 - is a consumption tax of 15 per cent on the net wagering revenue of betting companies offering services to SA customers.

All bets placed in South Australia with Australian-based betting companies are liable for the tax. The tax applies to bets on horse, harness and greyhound racing as well as other sports – even bets on the winner of the Academy Awards.

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