TAB NZ CEO Mike Tod steps down amid greenlight for Entain deal

TAB NZ and Entain have signed a 25-year strategic arrangement.
TAB NZ and Entain have signed a 25-year strategic arrangement.

Mike Tods’s resignation is effective immediately following approval of a major new deal with Entain.

New Zealand.- Mike Tod, the CEO of TAB NZ, has announced his resignation after the company announced government approval of a strategic partnering arrangement with Entain. He’ll be replaced by Nick Roberts from June 1.

TAB NZ board chair Mark Stewart MNZM, said: “As General Counsel and then Chief Transition Officer, Nick was a critical part of the team that worked tirelessly on securing the strategic partnering arrangement with Entain.

“The retention of Nick’s commercial acumen and legal skills, particularly his experience and deep knowledge of the legislative settings in NZ, the wagering ecosystem, and the contract that underpins the Entain arrangement will prove extremely valuable to the TAB NZ Board, our regulators and indeed the stakeholders that rely on TAB NZ funding.”

Roberts added: “The New Zealand racing industry remains world-class despite the funding challenges that have persisted for some time, but our place on the international map and the export revenue that racing drives for our great country requires a strong domestic industry. An industry that also makes a significant contribution to New Zealand’s gross domestic product and many regional communities through employment and investment.

“We have secured a generational change in the fortunes of racing. It is now up to the leaders across the racing industry to seize this opportunity and deliver a sustainable operating model over the next five years and give customers a world-class product and experience.

“Our sporting partners are also set to benefit from Entain’s investment in products and services. Some key National Sporting Organisations will be able to invest deeply in participation and elite performance as a result of the extra funding they will receive from TAB NZ.

“Entain has demonstrated a significant commitment to New Zealand racing and sport, and to TAB NZ’s 250,000 customers who will benefit from an improved experience and global-leading harm minimisation tools that TAB NZ would not otherwise have been able to bring to market.”

See also: TAB NZ releases racing calendar for 2023/24

TAB NZ has entered into a 25-year agreement with Entain that it says will bring financial benefits to New Zealand’s racing codes and national sporting organisations while offering enhanced products and services.

The strategic partnering arrangement includes upfront and guaranteed payments to TAB NZ, with increased distributions to the racing codes over the next five years. The minimum distribution levels are set to NZ$200m for the 2027/28 financial year, up from the current year’s NZ$125m.

National sporting organisations and Sport NZ will also benefit from increased funding, both through business growth and immediate funding boosts. TAB NZ has also committed NZ$5m to harm minimisation efforts, which includes an investment of NZ$4m to deploy facial recognition technology across 100 TAB Venues and the establishment of a NZ$1m research fund for gambling harm research.

Entain Australia CEO Dean Shannon welcomed the Government approval and said: “We believe this 25-year strategic partnering arrangement will be a gamechanger for sports betting in New Zealand and we are pleased that it will help provide significant financial benefits to the three New Zealand racing codes and the vast array of national sporting organisations.

“Entain is a business built on innovation and being a customer focused and we look forward to connecting further with the great team at TAB NZ to introduce a range of new world-class products, services and player safety tools to the loyal TAB NZ customer base.”

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