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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 September 2018) . . Page.. 3660 ..


Earlier I spoke about the significant number of sports betting losses that come from moderate and high-risk gamblers who make up just a small fraction of our community. The first step to addressing this problem is having reliable data and proper regulation of the industry, and this bill takes a step in that direction. Other new proposals for regulating online gambling are also coming forward, and we should continue to be open to new approaches as the gambling landscape continues to change.

Last year commonwealth, state and territory gambling ministers agreed to introduce stronger consumer protections for online gambling. Some examples of such measures included a national self-exclusion register for online wagering, a voluntary opt out pre-commitment scheme for online wagering, prohibiting credit being offered by online wagering providers, and prohibiting links between online wagering providers and payday lenders.

Additionally, in the broader gambling harm space, there is a need for stronger restrictions around gambling advertising, and responsibility for this issue sits largely with the commonwealth. Whilst it is outside the scope of this bill, I hope we can reach a point where we can follow our favourite sports on TV, radio or online without being bombarded with gambling ads.

I am deeply concerned by the way online gambling is being offered and advertised. The way it is linked with having a good time while watching sport or having a good time with your mates is deeply insidious. It reminds me of the way the tobacco and alcohol industries operate, where they present a product and endeavour to create an emotional connection in a way that undermines the attempts made by those seeking to prevent gambling harm from conveying to people some of the risks that are involved.

This is not to undermine the fact that most people gamble within their means, but as one watches those ads on TV, you cannot help but be struck by the very clear messages they are trying to send, and I think it is highly problematic. The Greens are pleased to support this bill today and the introduction of a point of consumption wagering tax in the territory. I am pleased to support this legislation.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Social Inclusion and Equality, Minister for Tourism and Special Events and Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment) (11.25), in reply: I thank Mr Parton and Mr Rattenbury for their comments in support of this bill. It implements a new ACT point of consumption tax payable by betting operators, irrespective of whether the operator is based in the ACT or in other jurisdictions. Casino, gaming machine and lottery operators have been specifically excluded.

The tax will be based on the net wagering revenue received by an operator from bets placed or services provided in the ACT or to ACT residents. As members have observed, the tax rate is initially set at 15 per cent of the revenue received, where that revenue exceeds a monetary threshold of $150,000. The rate and threshold is based on the South Australian model. However, as more jurisdictions implement equivalent legislation and the tax is bedded down here, adjustments may be made to threshold rates to reflect local conditions.


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