Day At The Track

Off-shore betting working group appointment

06:53 PM 16 Apr 2015 NZST
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Kiwi punters are attracted by better odds overseas but offshore companies contribute little to New Zealand
Kiwi punters are attracted by better odds overseas but offshore companies contribute little to New Zealand

New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) has today welcomed the appointment of an offshore betting working group announced by the Minister for Racing, Nathan Guy.

NZRB Chair Glenda Hughes says "This is a positive step towards what has been a long-standing issue for New Zealand's racing industry and we look forward to seeing progress made on combatting the increasing impact of off-shore betting in New Zealand."

New Zealand is unique in that all of the NZRB's profits are returned to the racing and sports industries. However, it is estimated that New Zealanders bet up to $300 million per year with overseas agencies that do not contribute to those industries, or are subject to the same responsibilities as NZRB.

"Our industry works hard to provide quality racing and sport that is enjoyed around the world, but there is a problem when it does not get a fair return on its investment as a result of betting taking place offshore," says Hughes.

Hughes commented that the rise of digital business has heightened the issue, further increasing the need for Government action.

"International corporate bookmakers are increasingly taking bets on our domestic product without any benefit flowing back into the New Zealand racing industry, and without being subject to the same fees and taxes as NZRB. We would like to see a level playing field, where all betting placed on New Zealand racing results in an appropriate contribution back to support the development and growth of this industry.

"This is a complex issue experienced the world over, with the likes of United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, France, Australia and Singapore all recently taking action," added Hughes.

In the 2013/14 financial year, the three racing codes - thoroughbred, harness and greyhound - received $134.1 million in distributions. National Sporting Organisations received $5.0 million.

Olivia Kinley

Manager, Media and Corporate Communications

New Zealand Racing Board

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