In line with the country’s new 2020 Racing Industry Act, New Zealand’s Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) will complete its transition to become TAB New Zealand (TAB NZ) this weekend.
It marks the end of a 13-month transition period, with TAB NZ due to have a sole focus on its customers, maximising profits for the racing industry and returns for sports. In addition, TAB NZ will also place an increased focus on tackling problem and underage gambling.
In an open letter, Dean McKenzie, Executive Chair of RITA, said: “As we transition to TAB New Zealand we do so knowing that, despite the enormous challenges presented by COVID, RITA has delivered on the Racing Minister’s expectations which were set out last year. The Board is grateful for his ongoing commitment and support, as well as from those across Government and Parliament who have supported the charge to reform the industry over the past two years.
“The industry has also responded well to the challenges posed by COVID, resuming with competitive racing, strong fields and providing great content for our customers to bet on. All participants should be congratulated for their effort and commitment.
“While it’s early days yet and there’s still considerable, ongoing uncertainty overseas, we can look forward to a newly reformed industry next week, cautiously optimistic of the year ahead.”
Changes to TAB NZ will come into effect from 1 September, which will see four General Managers cover Customer and Betting, Broadcasting and Operations, Corporate and Governance Services, and Finance.
The letter added: “As you know, the current Board continues until after the election when the Minister for Racing in the new Government will determine how they wish to proceed with appointing a new Chair and Board. Naturally, this will need to be progressed before finalising the appointment of a CE.
“We remain hopeful we will have the right person on board by the end of the year, as we have indicated internally, but this will also be potentially subject to other variables, such as the status of travel into the country. We’ll update everyone when we know more.”