Tax Revenue Gambling Australia

Posted on by admin
  • The rate of the new taxes varies from state to state: South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and ACT will collect 15 per cent of bookmaker revenue from bets placed in their jurisdictions, while NSW will take 10 per cent, and Victoria 8 per cent.
  • Australia’s $3.5 billion gambling taxes may be from a mere 200,000 gambling ‘addicts’ and their families. Such gamblers lose thousands of dollars a year each on gambling, with thirty cents in every dollar to public revenue.
  • At that time, Australia collected nearly $5 billion in taxes and revenue from gambling ventures, with live poker machines comprising the largest portion of that with $3 billion.

This edition of Australian Gambling Statistics contains 2017–2018 gambling statistics for all Australian states and territories.

Question 1: Income Tax Status of Gary’s Income. Even though income derived from gambling is generally not taxable in Australia, gambling that generates consistent long-term profits through the application of skill for instance blackjack, poker and sports betting is more often than not taxable (Latimer, 2010). Gambling Revenues in the USA. USA gambling revenues increased to over $160 billion in 2018. Now that sports betting is legal, most gaming experts and financial analysts predict the total revenues for US betting each year will top $200 billion. Whether it’s a lottery ticket, slot machines, sports bets, bingo, or poker, Americans love to gamble.

To see how Victoria compares with the rest of Australia on gambling expenditure, see Gambling in Victoria on the Foundation's website.

This comprehensive set of data covers the entire range of legalised Australian gambling products such as pokies, casino, race betting, sports betting and lotteries. It provides a wide range of gambling data, including total turnover, total expenditure, per adult turnover, per adult expenditure, percentage change in turnover and expenditure each year, market share of each gambling product and government revenue collected from gambling taxes.

Notable findings were:

  • total gambling expenditure in Australia increased from $23.694 billion in 2016–2017 to $24.887 billion in 2017–2018 (a 5.0 per cent increase)
  • per adult gambling expenditure in Australia increased from $1,251.39 to $1,292.25 (a 3.3 per cent increase)
  • total electronic gaming machine expenditure in Australia increased from $12.136 billion to $12.520 billion (a 3.2 per cent increase)
  • total casino expenditure in Australia increased from $4.790 billion to $5.101 billion (a 6.5 per cent increase)
  • total race betting expenditure in Australia increased from $3.313 billion to $3.547 billion (a 7.1 per cent increase)
  • total sports betting expenditure in Australia increased from $1.062 billion to $1.235 billion (a 16.3 per cent increase).

For more information, see the 35th edition of the Australian Gambling Statistics on the Queensland Government Statistician's Office website.

Australian Gambling and Betting Laws

As mentioned, online sports and horse race betting are legal in Australia, and for the operators it is handled at a state and territorial level. This section provides an overview of our ten states and territories that have gambling commissions.

Australian Capital Territory

The Gambling and Racing Commission is licensing body of the Australian Capital Territory. It first legalized online casinos effective 24 September 1998. This was overridden by the Commonwealths law (IGA) in 2001. Today there are no licensed online casinos in ACT, and only a single brick and mortar casino – Casino Canberra Ltd located at 21 Binara Street, Civic.

Tax Revenue Gambling Australia

They do however license other forms of gambling. For brick and mortar this includes lotteries, housies (bingo), sports betting, horse racing and of course pokies. Detailed information about the various laws can be found on their website

As far as licensing online sports and horse race betting is concerned, this commission does not have the best track record. Google searching the topic Sports Alive you can read about their failures as a gambling commission. They do however have a lot of favourable player rules, open disclosures and do mitigate player vs. bookmaker disputes. Again all these details can be found on their website.

New South Wales

The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing is responsible for licensing all forms of gambling in New South Wales. For sports betting they license Tabcorp (NSW Division) and a small number of bookmakers. While they do have rules in place for online betting, excessive regulatory requirements makes this is a less appealing location for internet operators. For offline betting the gambling commission is however strong. They regulate Australia’s second largest casino ‘The Star’ as well as lotteries, pokies, pubs and clubs, housie and much more. Their website is comprehensive covering all gambling laws, licensing requirements, dispute resolution and more.

Norfolk Island

Many Australians might not even be aware Norfolk Island exists. This is a tiny island with a population around 2,300 that while part of the Australian Commonwealth enjoys the most freedom to remain self-governing. They act primarily as a tax haven and it is difficult to evaluate how safe their gambling commission actually is. We can note that this is where Austote was licensed before it was purchased by IASBet, and is now where is licensed. Here the gambling is regulated by the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority whose website is

Northern Territory

Northern Territory has the most significant Australian gambling history. In 1993, they issued Centrebet the first ever Australian bookmaker licence. While worldwide Intertops was the first online sportsbook, Centrebet came online the same year. In 1996 they became the first to operate legally from the Southern Hemisphere.

Indiana Gambling Revenue

A limited number of brick and mortar casinos have been licensed here since the late 1970’s. The oldest is Skycity Darwin, formerly known as both MGM Grand Darwin and the Diamond Beach Casino, and the most noteworthy is Lasseters Hotel Casino. This property opened in 1981. In 1999, it launched the first legal Australian casino called Lasseters Online. This story was discussed earlier in this article.

Iowa gambling revenue

In February 2000, the Liquor Commission, Private Security Licensing Authority, Escort Agency Licensing Board, Gaming Machine Commission and Gaming Control Commission all merged to create the Northern Territory Licensing Commission which now (among other tasks) regulates all forms of gambling in NT.

The NT Licensing Commission is strict about which companies they are willing to license. However, they also have the most favourable tax rates of all states and territories. While elsewhere operators can pay up to 58.33% on their upper earnings, here all taxes are capped. The scheme is 10% of gross profits paid monthly but to a maximum of $250,000 per year in taxes. This is quite attractive to major corporations. As a result, many of the top global bookmakers have launched Australian divisions from NT including and

You can learn more about the NT licensing commission at their website:



The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation licenses all forms of gambling in Queensland Australia. Their website archives all are at, You can see from this page the first brick and mortar casino legislation came in 1982, pokies in 1991, Keno in 1996, lotteries in 1997, online gambling in 1998 and charitable games in 1999. This commission is dedicated to preventing minors from accessing gambling and has a strong focus on protecting problem gamblers.

Queensland is not an attractive location for online betting operators. Their tax rate is 20% of on net profit (of which 8.5% is allocated to the Community Investment Fund) and they also require a $192,900 quarterly licence fee. With the high tax rate, TAB Corp – who also operators keno here, appears to be the only operator interested in offering online betting from Queensland. This is because, remember, most Australians can gamble legally at sites licensed in other states or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

Worth noting is Queensland does have three well established land casinos in Jupiters Hotel and Casino, The Reef Hotel Casino and Treasury Casino.

South Australia

I mentioned earlier in this article, most Australian gambling laws relate to the operators as opposed to telling players what they can do with their own money. South Australia laws are an exception. Here the gambling laws are strict and were first laid out in the Lottery and Gaming Act of 1936.

This law straight out banned many games. For example it includes: “The games, tricks, or devices commonly known as “the purse trick”, “the three card trick”, “thimble rig”, “faro”, “banker”, “fan tan”, “two up”, “pitch-and-toss”, “hazard”, and all other games played in the same way, or of a kindred nature, are hereby declared to be unlawful games.. It also made it an up to $10,000 fine and up to 2-years imprisonment for any public gambling. Even a simple wager involving a coin was declared an offense and carried a $1,250 fine. This is only a few examples of the many restrictions included in Lottery and Gaming Act.

The forms of gambling long allowed in South Australia were lottery and a horse racing tote licensed by the Lotteries Commission. This same commission issued Adelaide Casino a license to operate a casino on its behalf in 1985. To this date, this remains the only land based casino in the state.

Originally, all gambling here was owned by the state government. It wasn’t until after the
Independent Gambling Authority Act, 1995 passed that private gambling became widespread in the state. This created the current gambling commission in place now that is known simply as the Independent Gambling Authority. Their website is

In 2000, the Independent Gambling Authority, passed the TAB (Disposal) Act, sold its casino to SKYCITY Entertainment Group, and passed both the Racing (Proprietary Business Licensing) Act and the Authorised Betting Operations Act. While these actions privatised gambling in South Australia, the rules and laws are still excessive.

To make a long story short, it is only legal for those residing here to use official licensed betting sources. Luckily, IGA does offer interstate licensing to online betting companies licensed in other Australian states and territories. Their website includes a List of Authorized Betting Operators. Note that all of these companies agree to follow IGA rules which prohibit gamblers from being enticed. This means South Australians are generally prohibited from receiving bonuses and are not eligible for promotions offered by Australian betting sites.


Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state and has a history of being a gambling trend setter. On 14 December 1968 it held a one-question referendum on whether to issue Australia’s first land based casino license to the Federal Group. This passed with a 53% yes vote, and on 10 February 1973 the Wrest Point Hotel Casino opened becoming the first Aussie casino. It is still standing today and is located in the suburb of Sandy Bay in Hobart, Tasmania. In 1982 a second casino still standing opened here – Country Club Casino located in Launceston, Tasmania.

Online betting from Tasmania came about sometime after the Tasmanian Gaming Commission was established as the result of their Gaming Control Act 1993. Today this is a small three-person body whose members are Mr Peter Hoult (Chairman), Professor Kate Warner and Mr Stuart Barry. What makes them unique again from a trend setter standpoint is to date they are the only gambling commission in Australia that has licensed a peer to peer betting exchange. This is the state in which is licensed which is available to residents of all Australian states and territories.

Tax Revenue Gambling Australia Canada

To learn more about the Tasmanian Gaming Commission refer to their website.


Tax Revenue Gambling Australia 2019

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation– known when referencing gambling only as VCGR – regulates all forms of gambling in Victoria. This includes the states single casino (Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex) which is the largest in Australia. It also includes pokies, wagering, keno, interactive gaming, bookmakers, public lotteries, trade promotion lotteries, and community and charitable gaming (such as raffles and bingo).

This commissions website is extremely comprehensive. Most anything you want to know can be found here. You can also find the list of the over 500 different gambling venues they oversee. You can even find net monthly loss by venue. The information that can be found here truly seems endless. In short, this is a very well ran gambling commission. Even key employees must be licensed as part of their employment, which involves strict background checks and agreement to adhere to a code of ethics.

For this article’s purpose there isn’t too much to comment on regarding online betting except for one particular intricacy. The same as South Australia, Victoria has a rule that prevents bookmakers from inducing gamblers to open accounts and/or make deposits. Victoria residents are excluded from receiving free bets, sign up bonuses, and certain promotions at Australian online bookmakers.

As far as operators located here, this is not a popular state for running an online betting site. The tax on fixed odds sports betting is 19.11%, compared to 10% with a $250,000 annual cap in Northern Territory. Also, gambling regulation in the state now totals over 1,000 written pages. The compliance expenses and large taxes operators face are significant. There have however been recent proposals for gambling tax reform. This could change in the future, but at this time this is not a state that appeals to operators of online betting websites.

Western Australia

Western Australia was initially opposed to gambling. Only two years after becoming a self-governing British colony, the Western Australian Police Act 1892 made not only betting an illegal act but also playing any game of chance for entertainment. Despite this illegal gambling thrived and in 1936 the Lotteries Control Act was passed to allow charitable lotteries. Both the Betting Control Act 1954 and the Totalisator Agency Board Betting Act 1960 made horse race betting more accessible. In 1982 charitable bingo was allowed.

By the early 1980’s other Australian states had land based casinos but the government here was split and mostly opposed to the idea. Finally, what is now named the Crown Perth was built and opened on 30 December 1985. The link just provided is to its Wikipedia page which covers the history of the casino and the surrounding legislation.

Today, all forms of gambling in Western Australia are regulated by Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor. Their website is extremely comprehensive and includes what games are allowed, who is licensed, the history of gambling in the state and much more. To learn more about Western Australia gambling laws and regulatory information visit

Pennsylvania Gambling Revenue

Gambling Income Tax in Australia

Australia taxes professional gamblers income tax at a rate of 30%. This is not a concern to anyone other than those gambling as a profession / primary source of income. For all recreational players gambling is generally not considered income for tax purposes.

Worldwide Gambling Revenues

The rules of whether a player is recreational or not have been well tested. Previously, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) was looking to collect 30% of Joe Hachem’s $7.5 million (USD) prize for winning the 2005 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Hachem argued at the time he won he was playing poker as a hobby and it wasn’t his main source of income. The ATO eventually agreed and he owed no taxes on his winning.

Understand if a player can spend $10,000 buying into a poker tournament and is not professional despite booking a $7.5 million (USD) win, chances are considerable most reading this article owe no Aussie taxes on their gambling winnings.

1 2