The Tasmanian government has become the newest Australian state to enact legislation regulating online gambling and wagering. After spirited debate by legislators (including some mudslinging and other legislative repartee) the Gaming Control Bill Amendment 1999 was passed, and will receive royal assent December 22, 1999.
The legislation provides the following:
- Unlimited number of Internet casino, lottery and sportsbook licenses. Pari-mutuel wagering is only available through the TAB.
- A one-time application fee of A$30,000 will be charged.
- Fee units of $1.01, the following licensing fees will be required:
- 200,000 units for sports betting endorsement.
- 200,000 units for fixed odds wagering endorsement.
- 300,000 units for simulated gaming endorsement.
- 300,000 units for major lottery endorsement.
Additionally, tax rates for sites licensed in Tasmania will be:
- Sports wagering: 0.5 percent of monthly betting turnover for Australian and New Zealand bettors and 0.25 percent of monthly betting turnover for bettors from other locations.
- Greyhound, horse and harness racing: 1.0 percent for monthly fixed odds turnover.
- Online casinos have a tiered taxation: 25 percent for profits up to A$30 million, 30 percent on profits exceeding A$30 million and 35 percent for any profits exceeding A$35 million.
- Internet lotteries are taxed at 35.55 percent of turnover.
The legislation offers some interesting tidbits: Federal Hotels, who signed a licensing agreement with the previous Tasmanian government in 1998 to run online casinos under their existing casino license, is prohibited from accepting wagers from Tasmanian citizens. Anyone licensed under the 1999 Amendment, however, will be able to accept wagers from Tasmanians.
The actual Amendment is not available until December 22, when it receives royal assent.
Click here to download transcripts from the reading of the bill in November (a zipped MS word file).