Star Workers Raise the Stakes in Fight Over Casino Tax

July 29, 2023 | Tax

AUSTRALIA (July 28, 2023) — Star casino workers worried a proposed lift in taxes on the troubled Sydney gambling venue could cost jobs have taken their fight to the office of NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey.

The Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported letters signed by 1,000 workers at the Star Entertainment-operated casino would be delivered on Friday to Mr Mookhey in a bid to get him to revise the proposed tax overhaul, the United Workers Union said.

The government says the plan to lift the top tax rate on casino poker machines to 60.67 per cent would add about $364 million to state revenue over three years, but the union says it would lead to job losses among the venue’s 4500 staff.

UWU Casinos deputy director Imogen Beynon said the tax revamp would “ultimately penalise” the casino’s gaming, cleaning, hospitality and security staff.

The Star Sydney jobs are good, stable, union jobs – with security, dignity on the job and fair wage rates and conditions. We want to make sure this doesn’t change,” Ms Beynon said on Friday.

Workers are calling for the new NSW government to consider an alternative approach.

The previous Perrottet government announced the hike in December, which was aimed at bringing casino taxes into line with those levied at hotels and clubs.

The overhaul, which would need to pass parliament, remains government policy but Mr Mookhey has been in discussions with workers and management about it.

The stoush comes amid financial troubles at Star Entertainment, which in April said it would sack hundreds of employees and freeze salaries after raising $800m at a deep discount to strengthen its balance sheet.

Both Queensland and NSW slapped the listed company with $100m fines last year amid claims of misconduct and it has set aside $150m for potential fines from anti-money laundering agency AUSTRAC.

AAP said Mr Mookhey has been contacted for comment.

By: Sam McKeith

SOURCE: The Australian Associated Press (AAP).

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