Tabcorp slugged with higher pokies tax

Tabcorp Holdings Limited (TAH) said it was disappointed that the Queensland Government had decided to increase taxes on electronic gaming machines („EGMs“) at all Queensland casinos from 1 July 2009. The company said it estimated that if the taxes had applied in the previous year, NPAT would have been reduced by AUD 20 million.

The Queensland Government announced that taxes on gaming machines at Conrad Treasury in Brisbane and Conrad Jupiters on the Gold Coast would increase to 30%, up from 20%.

At Jupiters Townsville, Tabcorp said the gaming machine tax rate would increase to 20%, up from 10%.

Chief executive casinos Walter Bugno said it was disappointing that the Queensland Government had chosen to increase taxes on EGMs in the casinos, and even more so that it had been done without any consultation or forewarning.

„This increase only applies to casinos. However, casinos account for less than 8% of all EGMs across the state,“ Mr Bugno said.

The company said it was a major employer, providing 4500 jobs and over AUD 100 million in tax revenue.

„Tabcorp should have been consulted on these tax increases before they were announced,“ he said.

At 1521 AEDT, shares in Tabcorp were down 32c or 4.5% to AUD 6.68.