In making his case for getting Brisbane’s second casino licence, James Packer observed last week (according to the Courier-Mail):
“Brisbane and Queensland have been badly let down by Echo – they have under-invested and underperformed. Queensland taxpayers are missing out on taxes, and the people of Brisbane deserve a much better resort offering.”
While Mr Packer is obviously motivated by more than his concern for Queensland’s public finances, he makes a very good point about us missing out on tax revenue. Currently, Queensland raises much more revenue from taxes that are worse than gambling taxes and levies from an economic perspective, namely payroll tax and stamp duties (see figure below).
Hence I see an opportunity to raise more revenue from gambling, which can be used to cut payroll tax and stamp duties to some extent. I wouldn’t expect gambling taxes and levies to replace these taxes fully, so broader tax reform is still needed.