New Zealand racing bill to come in force

RITA revealed profits and expect the government will introduce legislation that will focus on the consolidation of the institution.

New Zealand.- The Racing industry revealed this week unexpected profits and a brilliant panorama for next year. That situation made New Zealand’s Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) optimistic about the approval of a new racing bill.

RITA’s 2019 Annual Report, that recorded an industry net profit of $136.7 million (€79.6 million) before distributions, was down 6 per cent on last year but forecasts a significant turnaround in 2020.

“RITA has made serious progress implementing reforms with more measures still to come. The government will soon introduce a second racing bill which focuses on the post-transition governance structure as well as measures for property consolidation,” said Racing Minister Winston Peters.

“The further bill, the accumulated profit of the repealed betting levy, as well as the new Point of Consumption and user charges will help generate future revenue for the industry. This industry is undergoing a period of transition. We welcome the support of all those investing in the future to ensure the racing industry is turned around from a state of decline”, Peters added.

Key measures that feature in the bill include RITA being able to charge offshore bookmakers for offering odds on New Zealand racing and sports.

“We have two focuses for these charges: the first is doing whatever we can to support the Department of Internal Affairs and Parliamentary Council Office to draft and implement them as soon as possible; the second is signing up as many offshore bookmakers to voluntary agreements in the meantime,” RITA chair Dean McKenzie said.

“We have already secured voluntary agreements with Tabcorp, Betfair, Sportsbet and Ladbrokes – with negotiations underway with others. This means we have about 80% of the Australian online bookmaker market now contributing back to the industry”, added.

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