The Australian state of Victoria has today (Monday) revealed plans to introduce an 8% tax for online betting agencies.
New South Wales is considering how to implement the tax, while Queensland has vowed to introduce a 15 per cent rate.
Greens leader Samantha Ratnam said the tax would create a "honeypot" for online bookies and result in Victoria being flooded with gambling advertising.
Australia's online bookmakers, through industry group Responsible Wagering Australia, led by former Labor heavyweight Stephen Conroy, have argued that the 15 per cent rate in other states is excessive and unsustainable.
Some of the opponents of the new point-of-consumption tax have expressed their fears that the rate imposed in Victoria would charge local gambling operators less in comparison to the taxes charged in other states.
Industry giant Tabcorp and the Australian Hotels Association have been pressing for consistent 15 per cent taxes, arguing the need to "level the playing field", given online-only bookmakers are mostly licensed in the lower-tax Northern Territory and pay vastly less in tax than TABs.
Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, is reported to have seen the 8% proposal as a fair compromise between the two pressure groups.
Tim Costello, director of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, on Monday said he supported the new tax in Victoria and called on the state Opposition and Senate cross-bench to back the legislation. "They are not paying their fair share and have an unfair advantage against domestically based product".
"Whilst RWA acknowledges the Victorian Government's consultative approach, this new tax will nevertheless have significant negative and far-reaching consequences for Victoria", Mr Conroy said in a statement.
"So our view is we maximise the return, we minimise the harm by setting these rates".
"We will continue to consult the industry and other stakeholders as we finalise legislation to implement the Point of Consumption Tax".
Racing bodies now generate revenue from corporate bookmakers through race fields fees and their ability to negotiate these deals going forward is complicated by the imposition of the POC tax at different rates in different states.
"Matters like this I leave to my department, and they've been involved in an ongoing process of engagement with the relevant players. making sure everyone who has an opinion and represents an interest has a right to be heard", he said.
The Victorian Racing Industry will get 1.5 per cent of the net wagering revenue to soften the hit on turnover.
"An eight per cent point of consumption tax does not adequately account for these significant contributions and will result in Victoria having one of the highest effective wagering tax rates in the world".
Companies will be responsible for working out the location of people placing the wagers, Mr Pallas said.
Shadow Treasurer Michael O'Brien said this was the 12th new or increased tax by the Andrews Labor government, despite a promise for no new taxes at the last election.
Pallas declined to confirm if the 8 percent is a new tax, instead telling reporters that it can be defined however they wanted.