Government of Victoria, Australia Announces Higher Taxes on Pokies

Australian authorities are inching towards major changes in the gambling related to the gaming machines placed at various locations around the state of Victoria. Marlene Kairouz, Victoria’s Minister of Gaming and Liquor Regulation, announced the plan for increased taxes which should be paid by profitable gaming locations with gaming machines.

These changes are considered to bring more funds in the state government and the amount of fresh money is estimated to reach millions of dollars. The suggested gaming tax overhaul takes in to account the revenue from gaming machines operating all around the state and the amount of revenue they are able to amass. The more successful a gaming location is, the bigger taxes it will have to pay in order to continue its business. This includes pubs, clubs, and hotels, all of which enjoy big popularity among casino enthusiasts from all around the world.

Extra money in the system is always more than welcome, and in this case, the sum which is expected to be collected from the increased taxes will be considerable. The additional funds will be invested in the development of hospitals, mental health, and health and alcohol and drug services. According to the new proposition, which is expected to come into effect from August 2022, every slot machine which makes earnings of anywhere between A$6,667 and A$12,500 per month, will have to be taxed. Also, gaming clubs with higher income will have to pay a higher tax.

As with every important decision regarding the gambling industry, the opposition is concerned that the higher taxes imposed on casino operators are not going to reduce the gambling harm on society as a whole. Kelvin Thomson, the spokesperson for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, said that efforts should be focused on preventing the harm of gambling as well as reducing the amount of money being lost by players, instead of increasing the revenue of the industry. In the state of Victoria only, as much as A$2.6 billion is lost every year on poker machines.

Reverend Tim Costello, who is also one of the strong opposers of poker machines stated that the said machines are purposefully made to be addictive and the clubs should get rid of them as a whole. A well-known fact is that casino games developers are striving to provide their customers with the most immersive gaming experience, which is what attracts many players to the world of gambling.

The new taxes are designed in a way to guarantee a more progressive funding arrangement. Ms. Kairouz said the new situation will be fairer for all parties involved and the Victorian community will receive the amount of money it deserves from the more profitable gaming clubs, pubs, and hotels.