New Zealand to improve horse racing sector

The government has launched a series of measures to reactivate its horse racing industry.

New Zealand.- The government of New Zealand has revealed its plans to revamp the local horse racing industry. The series of measures include new taxes on offshore bookmakers and new governance structures.

These measures come after an industry review carried out by John Messara. The legislative pieces will be introduced by deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, with the first one to replace the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) with the Racing Industry Transitional Authority (RITA).

“It is essential to have this transitional governance in place,” Peters explained. “RITA will have a legislative mandate that encompasses change management as well as the current business-as-usual functions and powers of the NZRB,” he said.

Furthermore, a new tax strategy includes a 2% turnover tax, which is expected to contribute €14.2 million for the local horse racing industry. The other measure includes new race fields fees, which is needed for operators to access to sports data.

“The Racing Board has always championed the need for race fields legislation in New Zealand, and so it is great to see a new bill being introduced through Parliament,” NZRB chair Glenda Hughes said.

“Race field [fees are] more than just revenue for the racing industry, it goes to the heart of the structure of our gambling regulation. Achieving race field [fees] and the estimated €600k a month it will deliver for racing has been a priority under the current board of directors over the past six years and it is positive news for the industry that an outcome is now within sight,” he said.

The second legislative piece will be introduced later this year and will include new governance structures for the New Zealand horse racing industry.

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