New Zealand Moves to Protect Home Soil

Lee R. - March 31, 2017

An antiquated sports betting platform has compromised the appeal of government offerings.

In New Zealand, regulation focus has settled on restricting the ability of internationally licensed online gambling operators to offer wagers on local racing events.

The Losses

The government estimates say that 40,000 New Zealanders bet online with offshore operators spending annually over $500 million and losing some $58 million a year.

Becoming More Competitive

To address this, New Zealand Racing Minister Nathan Guy has proposed to amend the Racing Act of 2003 by protecting its TAB betting product from competition from more attractive international offshore betting site offerings.

The Local Market 

Guy revealed that the New Zealand racing industry generates some $1.6 billion in gross domestic product and provides 17,000 full-time jobs with the government hoping to protect those jobs and figures.


The protections would take the form of royalty fees for international betting operators’ use of New Zealand race data, as well as a point-of-consumption (POC) imposed on all wagers that offshore betting operators take on sports events taking place in New Zealand. Early estimates project the POC rate at 2%.

The Purpose

Guy explained the changes by saying they “are not designed to get more people gambling – it’s about...attracting New Zealand money currently gambled overseas back within our framework.”

Other Issues

The new proposal includes an updated formula for NZRB disbursement of betting revenue back to Sport New Zealand, though enforcement of the proposed taxes was not disclosed. 

NZRB Rep Speaks

New Zealand Racing Board chairman Glenda Hughes added that the NZRB was working on “improving its competitiveness to...ensure the same level of service and options” as international operators. 

Professional Help

The NZ government has already enlisted the aid of sports betting technology providers OpenBet and UK betting operator Paddy Power Betfair to upgrade the TAB’s antiquated fixed-odds betting platform, which shockingly crashed last September during the most important day of the racing season.

Be Proactive With Technology

The New Zealand example is a cautionary tale for governments to keep their gambling technology current, no matter what competition exists.

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