Government calls on TAB NZ to support racing’s recovery

New Zealand’s Minister for Racing, Rt Hon Winston Peters, has urged TAB NZ to collaborate with other industry bodies in accelerating the sector’s recovery.

In an open letter to Dean McKenzie, the TAB NZ Executive Chair, Peters outlined a requirement for TAB NZ ‘to actively plan contingencies with the (racing) Codes’ in the case of a COVID-19 resurgence.

Peters wrote: “It is also critical that TAB NZ supports Racing NZ and the Codes to deliver a racing season of excellence. While Racing NZ, the Codes and Clubs will have the lead on marketing and planning racing, TAB NZ should collaborate on opportunities which support revenue growth. A collaborative industry is a successful industry.”

In addition, the Minister called on TAB NZ to build and maintain reserves with ‘an eye on the long-term objectives’.

Peters noted that TAB NZ may not be able to achieve an appropriate capital structure solely through retained earnings, especially in the short term, and emphasised that the industry must be able to ‘cope with any future upheaval without the need for external support’.

In the letter, Peters also called for a retained betting levy: “In addition, Ministers expect that 2.5% of the retained levy should be directed to TAB NZ’s harm minimisation activities in line with earlier decisions regarding the use of the betting levy.

“It is important that TAB NZ’s operations reflect that it operates with a social licence to offer wagering products and that it comes with an obligation to minimise harm. TAB NZ should take a robust approach to preventing, detecting and addressing signs of harm among its customers.”

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