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Sportsbet scraps $20m SA investment

AAP logoAAP 16/08/2016

Sportsbet has scrapped plans to build a $20 million data centre in South Australia because of the government's new betting company tax.

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.

Half a million dollars will go the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund.

But Sportsbet's chief financial officer Ben Sleep says the tax means SA will miss out on highly skilled IT jobs, and that the company will instead invest in the Northern Territory.

"Sportsbet cannot invest tens of millions of dollars into a state where its government has shown that it is willing to significantly move the goal posts without consultation with those most affected," he said on Wednesday.

The company will also stop sponsoring Gawler Racecourse in Adelaide.

"If the government was to turn around tomorrow and ban bookmakers from advertising or sponsoring events in the state, much like its decision to introduce the unfair Punters Tax, Sportsbet could be liable to pay for advertisements and sponsorships we can't use."

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