New Zealand Government considers prohibiting offshore online gambling, prioritizing TAB exclusivity
In a bid to revamp the struggling racing and sports industry, the New Zealand government has unveiled plans to potentially prohibit online betting outside of the TAB (Totalisator Agency Board).
The proposed move seeks to unlock a "significant" new revenue stream while simultaneously addressing concerns surrounding unregulated online gambling.
Racing Minister Kieran McAnulty emphasized that extending controls over the online gambling landscape would empower the government to establish stronger regulations. Additionally, the newfound revenue source would allow for increased investments in harm minimization initiatives, benefiting both punters and sports codes.
Accompanying this announcement is the confirmation of a momentous 25-year partnership between TAB NZ and a prominent British betting company, Entain. This alliance is projected to inject a staggering minimum of $900 million into the racing industry during its initial years. By leveraging Entain's expansive reach and technological expertise, TAB's operations are poised for an enhanced customer experience.
McAnulty hailed the collaboration as a transformative moment in New Zealand racing history, expressing confidence that it would reverse the industry's declining revenues and secure a prosperous future. Notably, the racing sector contributes a substantial $1.6 billion to the nation's economy and supports 14,000 jobs.
Recognizing the financial challenges TAB NZ has faced in recent years, largely due to offshore gambling websites, the agreement provides a much-needed lifeline. An upfront payment of $150 million, upon approval, sets the stage for a fruitful partnership, complemented by a 50 percent revenue share from day one. This arrangement guarantees minimum annual payments of $150 million for the first five years.
McAnulty stressed that the agreement not only bolsters the financial viability of the racing industry but also prioritizes responsible gambling practices. As part of the deal, TAB NZ has committed to allocating $5 million toward harm minimization measures, pending approval. With Entain's advanced harm minimization technologies, including facial recognition tools that can be implemented in TAB venues, the partnership aims to create a safer betting environment.
While the collaboration has received widespread support, concerns have been raised by the Problem Gambling Foundation, citing regulatory issues in the UK where Entain operates. The government, however, remains determined to address these concerns while not compromising on the objective of revitalizing the racing industry.
Simultaneously, McAnulty unveiled the Racing Integrity Board's report on the future of the greyhound racing industry. Acknowledging that the status quo is no longer sustainable, he outlined two options: continuing under stricter conditions or considering closure. Despite potential delays in bringing the decision before the Cabinet before the election, McAnulty affirmed his commitment to progress this crucial issue and ensure that animal welfare remains a priority through close collaboration between the Racing Integrity Board and Greyhound Racing New Zealand.
For those interested in exploring the online gambling options available in New Zealand, a comprehensive review of online gambling websites can be found at Online-gambling.com. This review offers insights into the features, user experience, and safety aspects of various online gambling platforms operating within the country.
As the government forges ahead with plans to reform the gambling landscape and safeguard the racing industry's future, stakeholders eagerly anticipate the positive impact these measures will have on local sport, responsible gambling practices, and the overall well-being of New Zealand's racing ecosystem.