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Jerome García February 17, 2023 3 min read
Workers Union Blasts NSW Proposal to Increase Taxes for Pokies
A proposal that seeks to increase the tax rate for The Star in NSW faced the criticism from a workers' union, a new report reveals
Amid the review of The Star Entertainment’s NSW and Queensland operations, a new proposal calls to increase the tax rate for the company’s NSW location. The new proposal calls to increase the tax rate to nearly 61% for the poker machines within casinos.
The change, if approved, is expected to be implemented starting in July 2024. The newly proposed tax rates would effectively change the existing taxation model that is agreed upon between The Star, Crown Resorts and the local government. Keeping in mind the recent announcement, The Star confirmed such a change would impact its operations and acknowledged it may consider restructuring its Sydney casino location.
Proposed Changes May Put Jobs at Risk
Now, a new report released by The Sydney Morning Herald, reveals that the proposed increase in tax caught the attention of a workers’ union that criticized the measure. Dario Mujkic, the executive director of the United Workers Union, criticized Treasurer Matt Kean for the proposed tax rate increase for The Star, saying that such change can have significant consequences for the operator.
He acknowledged that The Star needs to face a penalty in light of the breaches of anti-money laundering (AML) and other regulations. Still, Mujkic stressed that penalizing the operator cannot be completed at the expense of jobs in the sector.
According to the executive director of the Union, the Treasurer “hasn’t clearly thought through the potential impact of the proposed tax change on business operations and more importantly the workforce.” Mujkic urged Kean to discuss the topic with the Union and The Star in an effort to repair the damage done and set out a path to compliance that won’t put any jobs at risk.
“It’s time for the NSW treasurer to sit down and properly engage with The Star and the United Workers Union, repair the damage that has already been done, and agree on a path forward that is reasonable and does not put jobs at risk in any way.“Dario Mujkic, executive director of the United Workers Union
Recently, The Star posted its preliminary results for H1 FY23, pointing to an overall strong performance with a slight 1% drop in revenue. At the time, the company’s CEO and managing director, Robbie Cooke confirmed that a key priority is to “regain the trust of our community and demonstrate to our regulators that we are suitable to hold our casino licenses.” Moreover, The Star vowed to continue to collaborate with government officials in NSW and Queensland to ensure compliance with the regulations.