Norfolk Island Loses its Licensing Power and SACOSS Calls for Tax Changes

In this news update from the Australian scene, Norfolk has been stripped of its power to approving casino gaming licenses as well as renewing the existing licenses. This came high up from the Australian federal government. This decision came right after it was proven that the authority of the Norfolk Island has given one of the biggest illegal bookmakers the green light to enter the multi billion dollars racing industry in Australia.

The authority was revoked by the Australian Minister of Territories, Paul Fletcher. The actions of the NIGA were also criticized heavily by Racing Australia’s Chief, Peter McGauranm. On the other hand, any licenses that were approved, granted or renewed before this decision are not going to be affected. Meanwhile, the NIGA is going to be stripped from all of its licensing power and it will stand down for 3 months during an audit that will carefully scrutinize all of its previous decisions, protocols and its procedures. According to reports, the reason behind all of this is the green light that the NIGA has given to the wagering company, BetHQ, which allowed it to enter the Australian market back in March of 2015. This opened the racing industry of Australia to Citibet, which is one of the biggest illegal online bookmakers. On the other hand, the connection between Citibet and BetHQ was only made this previous month, but there are many who believe that the authority should have done thorough background checks before giving the green light. Peter McGauranm has made a statement earlier that the NIGA has failed to make the most easy background checks as it only had to Google the name “Citibet” and it would have found links between Citibet and BetHQ.

In other news, the SACOSS, which is the peak body for the nongovernmental community and health services sector in the state of South Australia, is calling for big changes in the taxation laws and the taxation system when it comes to the Australian sports betting industry. This was stated through an article that was published by the SACOSS that noted that the gambling operators are being taxed according to the laws of the jurisdiction where they were licensed instead of the laws of the jurisdiction where they offer their services, as they believe it should be the other way around. SACOSS also noted that Norfolk Island and the NT area are basically gambling tax havens for all major internet bookmakers that offer services to Australian punters such as William Hill and Bet365.

The SACOSS believes that the companies that benefit so much from the industry should give back in the form of taxes so it can contribute in helping the issues that arise from gambling so they can meet their social reasonability. It was also noted that sports bookmakers taxes are nothing compared to pokies and slots.