Tax break for Betfair passed (update)

Tasmanian opposition party supports government's deal with online gambling giant.

Despite opposition from the Green Party (see previous InfoPowa report), a Tasmanian government proposal to give online betting giant Betfair a A$6 million tax break has been passed in the Lower House, thanks to support from the official Opposition Liberal Party.

ABC reports that the government's bill will reduce Betfair's state tax contribution from nearly A$8 million to about A$2 million a year.

Liberal spokesman Peter Gutwein told the Tasmanian parliament that while the deal represents a big drop in tax revenue, it is better than no revenue at all.

"We ran the very real risk that this betting exchange would vacate the state," he said.

The five Green Party MPs voted against the legislation, with spokesman Kim Booth voicing his party's contempt for the tax breaks.

"How low does a government go to simply just retain a business here on the basis it will create a few jobs?" he said.

Greens leader Nick McKim and Greens Cabinet secretary Cassy O'Connor abstained from Monday's cabinet deliberations on the legislation.

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