The ACT Government’s proposed gaming tax could cause many of Canberra’s gaming clubs to fold, Bill Stefaniak warns.
Mr Stefaniak said the proposed tax on gaming machines, to take effect from 1 July 2006, would put extra pressure on clubs particularly since the smoking ban coming into effect at the end of this year is expected to decrease clubs’ revenue by 15 per cent.
“This tax could well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and sends most of Canberra’s clubs to the wall,” he said.
He also notes that although the government is saying the new tax will bring in more money, if it causes a drop in clubs’ revenue then there won’t be as much money to help fill the government’s coffers. His figures, based on statistics from the Licensed Clubs Association, show a likely difference of $18 million between last year’s revenue raised from clubs and the projection for 2007-08.
And lastly he says if the clubs fold because the government is taking too much money from them in one way or another, this “would have a huge social and economic effect” because of the various clubs’ involvement in sport competitions and community contributions.