The NRL is set to lay claim to an annual windfall of more than $20 million from the new point-of-consumption gambling taxes in NSW, Queensland and Victoria in what would be a massive boost to the game's revenue streams.
The NRL will look to follow racing, which was guaranteed $40 million a year when the tax was announced in NSW in the state budget on Tuesday. That amount will grow is indexed to grow as the income from the tax increases.
The NRL could get more than $10 million per annum from NSW alone, a figure that would double if the other states are taken into account.
The $20 million figure has potential to rise every year, with a projected growth in betting of more than 13 per cent.
The point-of-consumption tax is set to be introduced by all Australian state governments in the next 12 months to claw back traditional betting revenues that have been lost in the digital age and the NRL is looking on the new rule as an opportunity.
Fairfax Media understands the NRL has already canvassed the issue with its clubs and the funds from the windfall have been earmarked to develop the game's grassroots.
An NRL insider said the game had been in discussions with the NSW government over the past couple of months and was confident it would gain its share of the tax.
“It is only fair to get what percentage of the market we generate and at the moment that is around 10 per cent,” the insider said. "It is [the tax] something that is being brought in in every state and we will also be making strong representations in Queensland and Victoria, where our clubs are based."
The gambling market continues to grow strongly, with forward estimates in the NSW budget predicting more than 13 per cent growth over a four-year period.
The NSW PoC tax is expected to raise $315 million in the four years to 2021-22. It was introduced to reflect the changing nature of the gaming environment due to new technology, which means punters now bet on their phones and on computers with operators that are mainly based in the Northern Territory. The PoC tax means that even though bookmakers are not based in NSW for tax purpose, they will still have to pay their share into the state coffers.
While the NRL has not got the same legislative guarantee as racing in NSW, it has already made representations to the treasurer about its share of the wagering market in NSW.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'Landys, who is also an NRL commissioner, worked closely with the government to ensure racing was not negatively affected by the PoC tax, securing two per cent of any bet placed by a NSW resident for the racing industry.
The PoC tax has been set at 10 per cent of gross profit from bookmakers in NSW after a discussion paper was produced earlier in the year after submissions from bookmakers and sporting codes.
If the NRL is successful in getting its share of the $100 million pot in NSW, other sports are sure to follow.
The league will make similar representations in Queensland, where the tax level was set at 15 per cent without any guarantees to racing or sporting codes for the revenue raised.
Racing in Queensland took the extraordinary step of taking a full-page newspaper advertisement on the June long weekend imploring the government to commit the funds from the tax to its three codes.
The Victorian PoC tax is set at eight per cent, with the racing industry given revenue guarantees although there is no mention of other sports.
Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald
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