'Court ruling poses a positive precedent'

12:05 AM 05 Apr 2012 NZST
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 Michael Stiassny
New Zealand Racing Board
Michael Stiassny

New Zealand Racing Board Chairman Michael Stiassny has congratulated Racing New South Wales on a court victory which ensures non-TAB wagering operators must contribute to the industry on which they take bets.

The New South Wales High Court dismissed appeals by betting houses Betfair and Sportsbet, ensuring they would have to pay 1.5 per cent of turnover to Racing NSW as provider of racing in the state. Any time a bet was placed on racing in New South Wales, the High Court ruled, the industry was deserving of 1.5 per cent of the wager.

Mr Stiassny said the ruling, following a long and complex case, was significant and could have spin-offs for the New Zealand racing industry down the track.

“It’s a great result for that state’s racing industry and Racing NSW has shown it is possible to beat these types of organisations that are making big profits from a product they don’t contribute anything to. We have long viewed this as an important issue in New Zealand.”

The NZ Racing Board’s obligation, by law, is to maximise returns for the benefit of the national racing industry through wagering. It also makes significant contributions to national sporting bodies through levies on sports betting.

“However, overseas wagering operators are offering betting on New Zealand racing but contribute nothing back to the industry and the tens of thousands of people nationwide who derive their livelihoods from it,” said Mr Stiassny.

“Unlike the NZ Racing Board, these organisations do not contribute anything to the running, development and promotion of the industry. That means everyone involved in racing in New Zealand is missing out on a contribution in recognition of the product and services they provide, notwithstanding the potential tax revenue the Government is not collecting.

“This is a significant and growing problem and one the NZ Racing Board is keen to address and discuss with the Government.”

John MITCHELL

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