portsbet — based in Ireland and boasting 100,000 South Australian account holders — says the money for the data facility will now be invested in Darwin that already has an established centre.
Sportsbet will also end its ongoing sponsorship of South Australia’s Gawler Racecourse following the government’s decision to proceed with the tax.
The Advertiser understands the agreement with Gawler, which was due to be renegotiated for next year, is $25,000 a year.
Sportsbet Chief Financial Officer Ben Sleep said on top of the initial investment, the data facility would have delivered millions of dollars of ongoing investment into the state annually through maintenance, servicing and enhancements, and created dozens of high skilled direct and indirect jobs in Adelaide to service the facility.
“Sportsbet cannot invest tens of millions of dollars into a state where its government has shown that it is willing to significantly move the goalposts without consultation with those most affected,” Mr Sleep said
“This decision to proceed with the 15% Punters Tax will not only cost South Australian punters, but the state will now miss out on dozens on high skilled IT jobs and millions of dollars of upfront and ongoing investment it can ill-afford to lose.”
Acting Treasurer John Rau confirmed Sportsbet had previously floated the concept of a “cloud-based server” being located in South Australia as a backup for their NT operations.
“It is strange that they propose to consolidate in what they have described as a risky jurisdiction,” Mr Rau said.
“This government believes that if betting companies are making profits from South Australian punters they should be paying tax in South Australia, like other South Australian companies do. “Sportsbet made a record $117 million from Australian punters last year.”
Mr Sleep said Sportsbet had also regrettably decided to end its ongoing sponsorship of the Gawler Racecourse, with the business instead looking to move its support to Victoria, where it has existing relationships in place with Ballarat, Benalla, Echuca and Kyneton racetracks.
Mr Sleep said many thousands of Sportsbet customers had written to their local MPs voicing concern about the introduction of the tax, with many more registering their support through social media.
SA’s July budget included a 15 per cent tax on the net wagering revenue of all online betting services - from horse and greyhound racing to AFL and political wagers.
The move, applying only to companies or individuals earning more than $150,000 and offering services in SA, is set to raise more than $9 million annually.