If you play at online casinos or sportsbooks in Queensland, expect a drastic change in future bonus offers. This is due to new laws that went into effect last week that will change how gambling companies handle bonus bets.
Now, online casino bonuses are considered taxable income for online gambling companies. While the laws are intended to prop up Horse Racing in Queensland, they will result in a drastic change for punters in the region.
Free Bets Are Now Taxable Income For Gambling Companies
Last week, new laws went into effect that change how gambling companies handle free bets. Now, free bets are considered income for companies. In the past, any free bets placed through online casino bonuses were tax-free for the casinos. The bets were not real money and thus were not taxable.
For example, if you played at a casino or racebook that offered a 100% match on a deposit of $100, you would get a $100 bonus. Before the legal change, the casino was only taxed on the initial $100 deposit. They must now pay taxes on the $100 deposit and the $100 match.
These bonus offers are popular with players because they believe they are getting free money. As most of you already know, the “free money” comes with terms known as a playthrough. Often, you must wager the bonus funds between 30 to 40 times before you can cash the money out. If you get a $100 bonus, you must make $3,000 to $4,000 in wagers before you can cash out.
Why Change The Law?
The top question we expect from the average player is, “Why the change?” Simply, the government is trying to increase the tax revenue for Queensland racing. Under the new laws, tax revenues are increasing from 15% to 20%. Furthermore, the total tax revenue allocated to Racing Queensland is increasing from 35% to 80%.
The new laws effectively allow the government to tax more money from online racebooks and casinos. Before the change, if a casino provided $100,000 in bonuses over a year, the bonuses would be tax-free. Now, the casino or racebooks must pay $20,000 in taxes.
What Players From Queensland Can Expect
Unfortunately, punters can expect several changes soon from sportsbooks and casinos serving Queensland. For starters, many sportsbooks threaten to reduce the odds for Queensland races. Other sportsbooks are already removing any Queensland races from their bettable races list.
Next, if you live in Queensland and play on gambling sites, you may no longer be eligible for bonus promotions. This is similar to what players using Skrill and NETELLER experience. Many casinos do not allow players to use these funding options to redeem online casino bonuses. Players in Queensland will likely no longer be able to take advantage of casino or racebook bonuses.
These new laws do not prevent players from Queensland from playing at casinos or racebooks. Instead, they impact how the casinos are charged. If you do not use online casino bonuses, the only difference you may notice is a lack of Queensland races in the racebook. Other options should remain unchanged.
The new laws are a money grab by the government to prop up Queensland racing. Unfortunately, these are the types of moves some governments will take to punish online operators.
Again, these changes only impact Queensland and those playing from Queensland. If you play in other areas, you can still take advantage of online casino bonuses at your favorite online casinos. For those playing in Queensland, be sure to read the terms and conditions of any bonus offers to check for terms exclusive to your area.
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