Guide to Online Pokies Australia Taxes

Australia has become one of the countries where the online gambling industry seems to be thriving with no hiccups. In the country, more than 80 percent of Australian adults have engaged or engaging in some form of gambling. Be it online or land-based, sports betting or online casinos, card games, or pokies, we can say Aussies love to gamble. This also includes the 4% of the Aussie population who play poker on poker machines at least once a week. Today, we will be looking at online pokies tax in Australia as well as other gambling activity taxes in the down under. Gambling in Australia is not a new phenomenon and the country’s legislation has been working to regulate it. Regulations and legislation are usually enacted at a state and territory level.


In other words, the northern territory can only enact gambling laws and taxation laws as it pertains to its territory. The same goes for Victoria, New South Wales (NSW), Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Queensland, and others. Over the years, there have been a number of acts that have passed in different territories on the regulation of gambling. In addition, they have also outlined taxation and advertisement laws.

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A Brief History of Australia’s Gambling Tax Legislature

In Australia, winnings gotten by a means of gambling are considered not taxable. The reason for this comes in three-fold. The main reason why winning from gambling can be taxed is simply because in Australia gambling isn’t considered a profession. Gambling activities is considered a recreational activity like a hobby.

The Australian government has passed laws to state that the result of a gambling session is usually not and not the result of hard work. Hence, the winnings cannot be taxed as it’s not a job, profession and requires no skill.

This also applies to a professional gambler like pro online poker players who might argue that their winnings a more of a result of skill. Even though they might argue this, their winnings are still not taxable.

However, if a pro player registers himself as a business that is recognized under Australian law. In this situation, the player will have to pay taxes. Also, if a professional player receives money from sponsorships, endorsement, or other means will be taxable by the government.

Who is paying the Gambling Tax in Australia?

If the Australian players don’t have to pay taxes on winnings at an online gaming platform or sportsbook. Then who pays the gambling tax? The answer to this question is easy. The reason why players can get their winning s without being taxed in that the casino or sportsbook operator does.

How much the gambling operators pay is dependent on the territory or state in which the operator is targeting. There are taxes that are placed on the online casino’s turnover — players’ losses and net profit. For this reason, casino operators are required to obtain a license before they can start offering gambling services.

The casino operators also have to pay a number of fees when trying to obtain a license and register their business. However, because of these fees we’ve seen many online casinos opt for licenses in other less regulated countries.

Keep in mind that the taxes for casino operators differ depending on what kind of gambling activities they offer and what region they are operating from.
In the state of New South Wales, for instance. The tax on electronic gaming devices in casinos is between 16.41 and 38.91 percent of gross revenue, depending on total revenue.
This is far from the state of Victoria, where the tax is between 31.57 and 51.57% of total gaming venues.

What are the Online Gambling Tax laws in Australia?

Australia has passed a number of gambling tax legislation over the years, the most prominent of which is the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. This legislation set up modern rules and regulations for the online gambling industry. The law was first passed on the 28th of June, 2001 by the Australian Parliament. The Act was written specifically to govern what was at the time a wild west online gambling industry.

The Act makes it a criminal offense to offer real cash online casino platforms with no licenses. This was done to deter bad-faith actors as well as gamblers from getting scammed. However, casino operators have nothing to worry about because Australian players are one of the biggest spenders at online casinos. With an accumulated $800 million dollars spent just in 2018.

Accessing and using interactive gambling platforms is not an offense under the Interactive Gambling Act in Australia. Companies based in Australia are also allowed to sell their services to players residing outside Australia. The sole exception is certain nations that have been deemed ‘designated countries.’ Australian punters profit from not having to pay taxes on their gambling champions. However, there are not many Australian services when it comes to online games.

Although few are currently based in Australia, there is an international transaction charge that some consumers may have to pay in order to make a deposit or withdraw. This depends on what type of banking system you’re using.

For instance, Mastercard and Visa usually charge an international transaction fee. Whereas Skrill is not going to charge a fee. The question of currency exchange is also an issue. As some of the finest casinos accessible would not be able to play in the Australian dollar.

Do players have to pay any gambling taxes in Australia?

In Australia, it is the casino owners who pay taxes, not the players. The amount of tax paid by the operators depends on the type of game and the position of the poker machines or casinos.
In terms of several online Aussie casinos in service, there really is no taxation for online Australian players either.

The only payments or charges that a player can face while playing an online casino. There may be payments for withdrawing or depositing money at overseas casino sites or for exchanging the Australian dollar to the preferred currency of the website.

How much in taxes do online casino operators have to pay?

Since the law is clear that online casinos have to pay taxes on their returns. Now we will take a look at the different taxes that online casinos are subject to :

    • GST at a rate of 10% upon the margin between the money collected and the amount of money paid out.
    • Corporate federal income tax at a current rate of 30%. However, this is likely to result in a decline to the average of 25% by the income year 2021-22 by an annual reduction in the relevant tax rate. The allocation of the lower tax rate depends on whether the corporation is a base rate entity. Companies identified as a base rate entity are ones with an annual net turnover of less than AUD50 million. Also, 80 percent or less of its taxable income will be a base rate entity with passive income.
    • Payroll tax.
    • Gambling levy taxes, which are levied by the applicable laws of the State or jurisdiction in which the corporation is licensed and is based on the income from gambling.

Point of Consumption Taxes

A casino operator, irrespective of where authorized, is also subject to a point-of-consumption (POC) tax in the following states and territories:

    • South Australia: 15% of net state wagering income in excess of AUD150,000.
    • NSW: 10% of net wagering income in excess of AUD1 million.
    • Victoria: 8 percent of net wagering income in excess of AUD1 million.
    • Queensland: 15% of taxable betting income in excess of AUD300,000.
    • ACT: 15% of net wagering income in excess of AUD150,000.
    • Western Australia: 15% of taxable betting income in excess of AUD150,000.
    • Tasmania: 15% of net wagering income in excess of AUD150,000

The Northern Territory has not revealed a measure to impose a levy on POCs.

Closing Remarks

Aussie players can rest easy knowing their winnings from an online casino will not incur any tax. However, players should be aware of charges from the payment options a online casino offers. If you want to read about some of the best online pokies available to Australian players.

To read more of our daily news and guides and online casino hacks and tutorials, Click here.

Henry Brown-avatar 12.03.2021
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