New Zealand’s RITA (Racing Industry Transition Agency, now TAB NZ) released its Annual Report on Friday, announcing a year on year profit of NZ$23.8m, all thanks to a government stimulus package of $41.0m that saved the organisation from a 6% drop in revenue.
Without the government aid included, TAB NZ’s revenue for the fiscal year ending on the 31st of July 2020 was NZ$329m, 6% below last year’s number of $348m.
The impact of Covid-19 and the cancellation of sporting events on New Zealand’s sports and racing industries was clear throughout the report with total turnover (betting and gaming) down 5% on the year from NZ$2.77b to $2.63b, $556m below budget.
The report also highlighted the specific hit that the gaming sector took because of lockdown restrictions with gaming turnover dropping 10% from NZ$513m to $461m, even despite successful upgrades to physical TAB locations and EGM conversions.
Executive Chair, Dean McKenzie, wrote in the report that “from a business perspective, performance was really a game of two halves.”
“Management accounts for the first six months showed an improvement against the same period last year, but were marginally down against budget. However, the second half of the year was dominated by the impact of Covid-19, with the industry and TAB requiring a support package to assist cash flow to ensure it could manage the impact of Covid-19.
This year will go down as a year like no other. Yet, through it all, the new foundations for the industry are now firmly set. However, we are by no means in the home straight.
We will probably never have another opportunity for this amount of substantial change – the industry must grasp this last chance to secure a sustainable future.”
More recently, TAB NZ has reported a resurgence in all segments since lockdown restrictions have ended in New Zealand and sporting events have been resumed around the world.
RITA became TAB NZ in August this year as part of an ongoing restructuring of New Zealand’s racing industry that began with the 2019 Racing Industry Bill and the dissolving of NZRB (New Zealand Racing Board).