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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 399 ..

No offer was made by Canbet to remain in Canberra and the decision to relocate was taken without Government knowledge. Canbet have indicated there are a variety of reasons for its decision, not least of which is the threat to its business provided by the Federal Government's intended review of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 scheduled to be conducted during 2003. This statutory review will consider the current exemptions under the Act and threatens to include Canbet's core business of telephone and internet wagering amongst the legislation's prohibited services. Breaches of this Act, render offending companies and directors liable for heavy fines and penalties.

In addition, Canbet considers the UK a more favourable operating and business environment for its activities. It cites the UK as "pro interactive"that enables new and innovative ways for growing such businesses as its own, as evidenced by the world's three largest bookmakers being based there.

Canbet also indicates it conducts 55% of its business between midnight and 8am and relocating to the UK will provide the company with more favourable time zones. The company advises that there are no ACT regulatory or taxation issues which have led it to its decision. In fact, the company estimates that on $1billion turnover with a winning margin of 2% that its move to the UK will result in it paying approximately $0.5 million more in tax than it would if it remained in the ACT.

Canbet takes wagers on international sports attracting a 0.25% tax rate. This rate of taxation is the lowest levied on ACT sports bookmakers and is considered internationally competitive. A variety of higher rates of taxation are imposed in respect of other wagering contingencies up to the 6.75% maximum levied on spread bets. Preliminary discussions were held between Commission and Treasury officials in late 2002 about exploring improvements to the taxation regime during 2003. Efficiencies may be found if a single internationally competitive taxation rate could be arrived at and applied to all available betting contingencies.

Refer Attachment A.

Attachment A




Gross Turnover

Gross Turnover Tax

GST Credit Applicable

Tax Paid to


Canbet Sports Bookmakers

Pty Ltd





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