Dear Industry Stakeholder,
We again seek to notify you and provide (a) an up-date on the progression of the NSW Government’s consideration of a Point of Consumption Tax (POCT) that is to apply on wagering operations as of January 1, 2019 and (b) to seek your support in pressuring the Government to treat all codes of the NSW racing industry fairly as it finalizes the racing industry distribution arising from POCT.
When the current NSW Coalition Government repealed the Greyhound Prohibition Act 2016 in 2017, it went to considerable lengths to communicate a positive future based on a ‘partnership’ between greyhound racing and the NSW Government.
Since then, NSW greyhound racing stakeholders have positively embraced change. We have committed to regulatory reform and best practice animal welfare standards. We are living up to our part of the partnership but we need a fair go on funding decisions made by the NSW Government.
The first test for the NSW Government to uphold its ‘funding fair go’ commitment has presented in the form of the Point of Consumption Tax (POCT) that the Government is set to introduce.
The NSW Government announced in this year’s Budget on June 19, 2018 that a POCT would be applied at a rate of 10% of net revenue from wagering operations. Rebates will apply to TAB operators so the revenue will be generated totally from the operations of corporate bookmakers. The NSW Government’s budget estimates reveal that the NSW Government expects to generate revenue of $100m annually with forward projections assuming 4% annual growth. The NSW Government has also determined to distribute annually $40m of the total revenue raised to the three NSW codes of racing.
The NSW Government is now considering the legislation, a process that will include determining how the three racing codes will share the $40m distributed each year.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet indicated in his radio interview with Ray Hadley on June 20, 2018 that the NSW Government was predisposed to distributing just 13% of the distribution provided to the racing codes to greyhound racing. Despite the NSW greyhound industry advising the Treasurer of the complete unacceptability of his predisposed position, it is our understanding that the NSW Government is proposing to cement this ridiculously unfair distribution approach in the Betting Tax Amendment legislation.
If the NSW Government ultimately distributes POCT revenue to the greyhound codes at 13% as opposed to the market share we generate, greyhound racing will once again be forced, by Government legislative action, to subsidise the thoroughbred and harness codes by at least a further $3.6m per year. This would be unfair, it would be a discriminatory decision by a Government that is free to determine how the industry distribution is provided to the codes with complete discretion.
NSW GBOTA has previously communicated with the Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and ensured they are aware of the NSW greyhound industry’s strong expectation that any POCT distribution must be distributed fairly and on a performance basis. But these efforts need to be bolstered by individual protests by industry participants to their local Members of Parliament, be they members of the NSW Government or a member of the opposition or the cross benches.
The draft Bill is being considered by the NSW Government (7 day draft Bill consultation currently underway) as we write so any action on your part must be undertaken urgently and preferably within the next three days.
Draft templates are provided for Government Members of Parliament (available here as .doc) and non-Government Members of Parliament (available here as .doc). These may be used as guidance for your own letter or the highlighted areas in the templates can be personalized and sent to your local member.
Please take the time to email or contact your local member this week and demand funding fairness. Thank you in anticipation.