For sustainability of racing sector
New Zealand Racing Minister Nathan Guy has proposed a range of measures to protect and ensure the longevity of the country's horse racing industry following recommendations from an Offshore Racing and Sports Betting Working Group.
Among other recommendations, the working group has proposed introducing to legislation an Offshore Bookmaker fee that would require a credible enforcement regime.
Offshore gambling operators would have to pay the fee whenever they accept bets on racing and sporting events taking place in New Zealand. The fee would also apply when they accept bets from New Zealanders.
Following its implementation, the sector expects to raise an additional $16 million in revenues which would be used to support New Zealand's racing and sports industry, boost problem gambling support and assist in funding measures that ensure integrity in sport.
"Offshore betting has been a long-standing problem for the racing industry," Guy said. "Because the New Zealand racing industry relies on wagering to fund its activities, it is completely understandable that there are concerns about the flow of money to offshore websites."
The Working Group estimates that around $58 million in gross betting profit is lost offshore per annum and that $300 million is freely turned over by Australian corporate bookmakers on New Zealand racing.
The scale of product offered by New Zealand TAB has also been identified as a factor that pushes punters to offshore sites, a factor the minister will address through a proposal that would amend the New Zealand Racing Act.
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