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Northern Territory Gaming Amendment to Cut Bookmakers Tax

21st October 2009 7:47 am GMT

In a bid to retain corporate bookmakers within the jurisdiction, Australia's Northern Territory has introduced legislation to parliament that would abolish the current turnover tax on bookmakers and replace it with a 10% gross profits tax, capped at AUD$250,000 per year.

Introducing the legislation Tuesday, Northern Territory Treasurer Delia Lawrie said the move would help ensure that the industry remains competitive with other jurisdictions.

"The corporate bookmakers are a significant employer in the Territory, employing more than 250 people and contributing about $10.5 million in revenue last year," said Lawrie.

"However, significant changes to the taxation, fee and regulatory regimes in other jurisdictions, including most recently Tasmania, are threatening the competitiveness of the industry in the Territory."

Ms. Lawrie warned that the prospect of corporate bookmakers withdrawing from the Northern Territory in favour of other Australian jurisdictions was a major cause for concern for the government, which fears the loss of jobs, revenue and support for the local racing industry.

The Racing and Betting Amendment Bill 2009 proposes to introduce a new profits-based tax system beginning January 1st 2010, with bookmakers paying 10% of monthly gross profits with a cap of $250,000 per financial year.

The cap will be $125,000 for the remaining six months of the 2009-10 financial year.

"While these measures will reduce tax revenue, on balance, inaction would have seen many corporate bookmakers leaving the Territory, costing jobs and would have severely impacted the local racing industry," added Lawrie.

"I believe these proposed changes will ensure that the Territory's racing and bookmaking sector remains competitive and continues to be a viable industry."

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