Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Following discussions that began last year after the Tasmanian government changed its taxation of on-line gamblers, Betfair has now reached an agreement with the government to maintain its presence on the island.
Last October, the Tasmanian government abolished its 15% gambling tax for on-line bookmakers, in favour of a flat annual license fee of only AUD250,000 (USD225,000). This led Betfair, who would have still paid the original tax based on turnover, to look at its options off the island.
At that time, Betfair appeared to say it would require a level playing field with other operators if it was to stay, while the islandís government said that it was confident that an arrangement could be made to ensure that its association with Betfair would continue long into the future.
It is now reported, however that the Tasmanian government has made a ten year deal, with tax incentives, to convince Betfair to maintain its operations, with over 130 jobs, in the state. The government has said that the agreement, which may reduce the tax on betting exchanges to 5% amongst other conditions, will reduce the stateís taxes by some AUD2m over the next two years.
The agreement with Betfair will not be able to be ratified until after the state parliamentary elections that are to be held next month.