Sydney casinos agree to pay increased taxes after negotiations with NSW govt.

Two major casinos in New South Wales (NSW) have agreed to pay more in taxes after negotiations with the state government. The tax rates for Crown Sydney and The Star will increase from 17.91% to 20.25%, backdated to July 1st, 2023, after the two agreed on the govt. proposal on Monday night.

In return, the Star has been granted a reprieve on a planned poker machine tax increase until 2030 and has also agreed to pay a transitional levy until the new duty regime kicks in. The changes are in line with an in-principle agreement carried out with The Star in August of this year. 

The duty on rebate play, involving non-NSW players, will increase from 10% to 12.5%. The Star will also be required to pay a 35% tax on total gaming revenue that exceeds AU $1.125 billion ($741,026,250) in a financial year, in addition to existing duties.

The government’s negotiations and agreements are aimed at protecting jobs, especially at The Star, and facilitating ongoing efforts to restore The Star Sydney’s reputation. Legislation aimed at protecting more than 3000 jobs at the casino across the next six years will be introduced

The Crown, Sydney

Canberra Times cited Treasurer Daniel Mookhey in its report, who said that the negotiations were “one of the most difficult challenges” he had inherited from the previous government. “The previous government had bungled their casino policy,” Mookhey said. “These arrangements will see both casinos pay higher taxes.”

The planned tax increases for Sydney’s two casinos were announced by the Dominic Perrottet-led former coalition government in December 2022. The changes in taxation are expected to raise AU $350 million ($230.5 million) across three years.

On the formalization of the new arrangement, Star Group chief executive and managing director Robbie Cooke stated that the constructive engagement by the government was appreciated.

He said: “The formalization of these arrangements protects our Sydney team’s jobs and enables us to continue the important ongoing work required to restore The Star Sydney to suitability, and to earn back the trust of our stakeholders.”