Home > Legal & compliance > Legal > Australia: Offshore gambling could cost country $3bn

Australia: Offshore gambling could cost country $3bn

| By Marese O'Hagan
A report from Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) has found that illegal offshore gambling could cost Australians close to $3bn (£1.60bn/€1.84bn) in lost taxes.
BetStop Australia

This was revealed in the Australia Offshore Wagering Market Analysis 2023, a report that was developed on behalf of RWA by betting and gaming consultancy H2 Gambling Capital.

H2 estimated that between 2022 and 2027, black market activities could cause a loss of $3.35bn in taxes. Coupled with the estimated grey market tax loss of $3.32bn, this could total a combined $6.67bn potential loss.

RWA said that offshore operators are more appealing to customers as they offer more competitive pricing and do not provide consumer protection rules that are as stringent as those that would be put in place by licensed operators.

Kai Cantwell, CEO of RWA, said that future consideration of reforms in Australia must focus on eradicating the offshore market and removing it as an option for players.

“It is crucial that any future reforms are balanced and prevent Australian players from being driven offshore, where player protections are limited,” said Cantwell.

“Additionally, failure to maintain a sustainably regulated sports betting market could result in a significant loss of economic benefits to the Australian economy, as well as to the sporting, racing and broadcasting industries.”

Report findings

The report also found that Australia’s offshore illegal gambling market is now worth over $1.1bn, which is an estimated 15% of the total gambling market in the country.

H2 estimates that 92% of the online market was onshore in 2022. This has grown steadily since 2017, when the onshore market was estimated at 82%.

The consultancy put the number of onshore racing operations at 96% for 2022, compared to sports at 78% for the year.

H2 also estimated that the total GGR for 2022 was $7.71bn and projected that the GGR for 2023 would grow further to $7.85bn.

It is also estimated that black market activities generated $571m in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2022. For the grey market, GGR was $560m.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter