Views sought on proposed Racing Act changes

  • Nathan Guy

Racing Minister Nathan Guy is seeking public feedback on proposed changes to the Racing Act designed to ensure returns from betting continue to support New Zealand racing and sport organisations.

“A Working Group has found that a growing number of New Zealanders are gambling through offshore betting agencies, which raises a number of issues.

“In 2015, about 40,000 New Zealanders turned over $518 million offshore with $58 million in losses – this represents potential lost revenue of up to $45 million for local racing and sports organisations.

“By law, the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) is the only New Zealand-based provider of racing and sports betting via the TAB. The NZRB distributes any profits back to racing and sports in New Zealand.

“This system ensures any proceeds from gambling support the local sporting and racing activities that make that gambling possible in the first place, and that punters operate within a regulatory framework that minimises gambling harm. Neither of these things occur when people bet with offshore providers.”

The Working Group has developed proposals to make the TAB more competitive, and help ensure offshore providers pay their fair share of support back to local racing and sport groups, including:

  • removing the prohibition on the TAB taking bets during a race (currently, only bets can be placed on other sports in-game).
  • removing the restriction that requires the TAB to offer bets only on sports represented by National Sporting Organisations.
  • permitting the TAB to expand its range of gambling products to include betting on novelty prediction events.
  • a consumption fee for offshore gambling operators accepting bets from New Zealand.
  • a ‘use of data’ fee for offshore gambling operators using New Zealand race and sport data.

“These proposals are not designed to get more people gambling - it’s about attracting New Zealand money currently gambled overseas back within our framework. This will support local racing and sports, and better mitigate gambling harm.

“The New Zealand racing industry is a major contributor to the economy. It generates $1.6 billion in gross domestic product and provides for 17,000 full-time jobs,” says Mr Guy.

The deadline for submissions is 27 May 2016 and the discussion document is available at .