Daniel Williams

Canberra Racing Clubs Asks the ACT Government for Fairer Revenue Return in Line with Other States and Territories

Les Boag, the chair of the Canberra Racing Club (CRC), has urged the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government to follow suit of its counterparts in South Australia and boost the revenue returned to the local industry.

As of the beginning of the month, the ACT Government officially implemented a change aimed at increasing the local Point-of-Consumption Tax (PoCT) from 20% to 25%. According to preliminary expectations shared by the local authorities, the increase is expected to bring approximately AU$32 million to Government coffers every year.

Only a month ago, in June, the Labour Government of South Australia unveiled a change in the three local racing codes that would provide an important funding boost after the tax revenue from betting operations return to Racing SA doubled to 10% to 20% as of July 1st, 2023. Almost right away, Racing SA announced a significant 15% increase in prizemoney to AU$7.4 million.

Now, Mr Boag noted that the Canberra Racing Club is asking for a fair share of the funding from the new Point-of-Consumption Tax in the Australian Capital Territory, which is essentially a gambling tax upon the organisation’s racing product. According to him, using a part of the gambling proceeds on the body’s racing product to fund ACT racing made perfectly good sense, especially considering the fact that the rest of the Australian states and territories do the same. Mr Boaf further explain that such a change would help ACT racing remain competitive.

ACT Government Continues to Inappropriately Fund the Territory’s Racing Sector

For the time being, other states and territories across Australia return between 20% and 80% of the Point-of-Consumption Tax they get back to the industry. Unlike them, the ACT Government does not give anything back from the collected PoCT.

In fact, the financial pressure associated with racing in the Australian Central Territory is nothing new, although the ACT Government does not seem to be taking the matter into account, considering the fact that the local racing sector remains “inappropriately” and “uncompetitively” funded by the authorities.

The boss of the Canberra Racing Club reminded that the ACT Government has not returned any gambling income to the Territory’s racing sector, but instead, receives direct budget funding on an annual basis. Mr Boag further explained that the situation had progressively got worse because of the lack of alignment with the population’s increased betting and the increases in betting per capita.

According to data provided by an Equinox study held in 2022, the current funding model behind racing in the ACT puts the local racing sector behind the one in all other Australian states and territories. Per capita, the racing sector in the Australian Central Territory receives less than half of the Government funding to the next lowest (South Australia), and approximately one-third of the amount received by the racing sectors in other states. Also, per capita, the prizemoney in ACT racing amounts to approximately one-third of the sector’s prizemoney in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, and about 50% of the next lowest (Tasmania).

Mr Boag also explained that if the betting operations tax in the Territory continues to rise, betting companies will definitely face difficulties that will force them to reflect that in the markets and services they provide to the customers in the ACT.

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.

Daniel Williams

Author: Jerry Lewis