Does anyone know much about financial spread betting?

You more or less bet on the direction of a share price or index. IG determines the spread. IG has many markets and method built around it. IG Index's site for spread betting

The main advantage is supposed to be that you don't pay tax but that is controversial. I asked for a PDS but they didn't send me one.

Here's an article from The Australian explaining how it works,00.html

The attraction is that you don't pay tax on your winnings but the ATO had made a ruling saying that it was assessable income. IG and the taxpayer involved plan to appeal it and litigate the matter if required but I have not found any cases.

Apparently the NSW gambling industry is not too happy about it as it would mean more competition.

From the PDS:

6.2 Betting profits and losses
General position

Ordinarily gains from gambling or wagering transactions are not
assessable (nor are losses deductible) for Australian income tax or capital
gains purposes, but the tax treatment may differ depending on your
personal circumstances, for example if your trading is done in the course
of carrying on a business. Factors that may be taken into account in
deciding if a taxpayer is carrying on a business include whether the
gambling is conducted in a systematic, organised and businesslike way,
the volume and size of the gambling, whether the gambling is related to,
or part of, other activities of a businesslike character,whether the form of
gambling is likely to reward skill or judgment or depend largely on chance
and whether the taxpayer is gambling principally for profit or for pleasure.

We are aware that the ATO has issued a private ruling under which it has
ruled, in respect of the individual seeking the ruling, that the winnings
were assessable as income and as a capital gain on the basis, amongst
other things, that entering into a spread bet is so likely to reward skill and
judgement and so commercial in nature that winnings will be assessable
income, even if it is accepted that the bet is gambling, is not made in the
course of carrying on a business and is an isolated transaction.We
disagree with the ATO’s ruling.The individual who has received the ruling
has informed us that they will be objecting against the ruling, and that if
they do not receive a satisfactory response, they (in conjunction with us)
will pursue the matter as a test case through the court system, to establish
a judicial ruling on whether winnings are assessable income and losses are
allowable deductions.

The above is a summary only and should not be relied upon as being
applicable to your own circumstances. If you require further information,
you may wish to consult the ATO.

Consult your tax adviser
We strongly recommend that you consult your own tax adviser before
deciding to open an account and enter into any Spread Betting transactions.

If anyone has any views or experience on this I'm sure all us keen 'punters' would be glad to hear it. I'm really attracted to the idea of not paying tax!

The info above is only how I see it, as I normally just stick to simple transactions I may have got something wrong so let me know.