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Monday, 20 March 2017
Page: 1460

Senator HANSON (Queensland) (20:23): I have been listening to some of the speeches here tonight, and gambling is a huge issue. Senator Bernardi commented on friends that he has seen involved in gambling and on the repercussions that it has had on them. I too have known people where gambling has affected them, so I am sure we have all been touched by it. But I also agree with Senator Bernardi that gambling is a part of life. I cannot see it being wiped out at all, and I do not believe that we should. People have to be responsible for their own actions, and I would not like to see us become a nanny state. I support this bill from the government, the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, and I will be moving an amendment.

The gambling industry is flourishing, and we ask: where does the money go? There are a few international corporate bookmakers in Australia, and they rake in $8.6 billion from sports and racing betting, yet they only contribute back to the Northern Territory government $6.5 million in tax. Licences can be bought from the Northern Territory for $550,000 a licence per annum.

Another foreign entity that is working in Australia and buys a licence from the Northern Territory is called Lottoland. Lottoland, I have been told, have a contract with a Gibraltar company. They buy a licence for $550,000 in the Northern Territory, and what they offer Australians is the ability to bet on the outcome of megalotteries around the world. It is unknown what they rake in in their turnover, but the thing is that they do not pay tax. They pay no tax in this country whatsoever. Unlike the international corporate bookmakers, Lottoland pay no tax, but what must be also considered is: can they pay on a win if there is a win?

Lottoland is jeopardising the 4½ thousand newsagents who rely on lotteries. They contribute $1.4 billion across the nation in taxes that are paid and a further $150 million in GST. Lottoland, you might think, is a big organisation, employs people and brings a lot to the country, but it does not. It only employs six people. And yet I am sure we have seen, if not hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of dollars leaving the country, tax free.

What we have to consider and what I will be moving today is an amendment. I am led to believe that Lottoland have been shut down in France and Italy, and the UK is now looking at shutting them down. The amendment that I will move here today to part of this bill is basically to put a stop to organisations like Lottoland that provide a service relating to betting on the outcome of a lottery. Hence, what we will be doing, if my colleagues in this place support my amendment, is to stop people like the organisation Lottoland—plus a couple of others who are possibly eyeing off coming over here to do the same—ripping off, as I said, hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars out of our economy. They do not pay tax, and there is no guarantee that they will be able to pay up if anyone does have a win. I hope that people will support this amendment, because, at the end of the day, we will be looking after Australian businesses who rely on lotteries for that extra little bit of cream, because that helps keep them profitable, and probably helping Australians who may not have been paid by these organisations that may be questionable. So I hope that I get support on this amendment.