David Leyonhjelm, lead candidate for the Liberal Democrats, has announced he will push to abolish gambling taxes if successful in winning the balance of power at the NSW election.

“Abolishing gambling taxes in NSW would be a $2.7 billion annual tax cut equivalent to $340 per person,” he said.

“Under the Liberal Democrats, you’d no longer be stung by the government when you put a sure bet on Winx at the races, have a cheeky spin on the pokies at your local club or hotel, put it all on black at the casino, or buy a lotto ticket at your local newsagent.

“You could have more bets as well as go home with more money in your pocket.

“The NSW State Government taxes gamblers more than in other States. Nationwide, gambling taxes are $280 per person, whereas they are $340 per person in NSW.

“Our State Governments are addicted to gambling tax revenues.  And the NSW Government is the biggest junkie of all.  It’s time we made the States go cold turkey.

“For most gamblers, gambling is a leisure activity like any other.  Their pastime shouldn’t be taxed more than anyone else’s pastime.

“Only a small minority of gamblers suffer such lack of control that they experience excessive losses.

Gambling taxes don’t even help problem gamblers; they just add to their losses.  Problem gamblers don’t see the reduction in potential pay-offs resulting from gambling taxes, and they don’t reduce their gambling as a result of lower potential payoffs.

“Gambling taxes go into the general coffers of State Governments rather than towards problem gambling programs, which account for a tiny fraction of gambling tax collections.” 

The Liberal Democrats’ plan to abolish gambling taxes is part of a fully-costed alternative budget, to be published later this month, involving each State delivering budget surpluses and significant cuts to taxes and government spending.