Row looms as provincial government says it has already given enough
Aussie press reports Monday from the state of Queensland reveal that a row is brewing over racing industry demands for a cut of the recently introduced 15 percent p.o.c.tax on online betting operators.
The provincial government has so far resisted the demand, leading to a scheduled “crisis” meeting Tuesday between the industry and Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.
The racing industry in the state has threatened to derail Melbourne Cup day celebrations unless they get more prize money from the state’s new gambling tax, pointing out that this is needed to match what is on offer interstate.
Australian Trainers Association state executive Cameron Partington said the problem can be solved by putting more money in at the beginning and spreading it over more people so that more trainers can generate income from running their horses.
He claims that thoroughbred racing has suffered financially in recent years from a lack of investment and has been plagued by administrative changes.
State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the government has already invested substantially in the betting industry, spending A$20 million on new tracks for greyhound and harness racing and making taxpayer dollars available in other ways.
“We give millions of dollars every year to the racing industry,” she said on Monday. “There is a substantial amount of the gambling tax going back to the racing industry. We’ve also forgiven half of their debt as well, I mean, we are taking a lot of measures here.”
Finance officials noted that revenue from the p.o.c. tax will pay off A$17.8 million Racing Queensland owes the state government, fund infrastructure works at Eagle Farm, Doomben and Bundamba, and support gambling addiction support services.