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The Rise of Horse Race Betting in New Zealand


New Zealand is looking at ways to recover millions from offshore betting, as countless players are forced to use remote bookies due to the law. Horse race betting in New Zealand has an old tradition, however the government doesn’t see any revenue come its way, so now the Department of Internal Affairs is interested in making some changes.

It was illegal in the 1920s and after the introduction of the Totalizator Agency Board (TAB) in 1961, betting on races was only available on-course.

As it has been revealed in detail, the number of offshore bets placed in the last five years has grown significantly, and further increases are expected. Obviously all the money and benefits are reaped by bookies overseas that profit immensely due to the regulations in place. It is estimated by the New Zealand Racing Board there are more than 40,000 active players today. That’s in stark comparison to 2010, when there were 23,000 players. and today in 2016 is reached over 40.000 and according to predictions the number will be twice bigger in five years’ distance.

John Allen, chief executive of the Racing Board, said that money bet in the country should make profit for the country. However, owing to the increasing rate of offshore betting, things are different in New Zealand and they see none of the money come their way.

Mr Allen hopes that with the new legislation this problem could be tackled in the future, and he plans to put this matter before the Cabinet to make horse race betting in New Zealand profitable. He stated, “It would have a requirement that anybody who was accepting a bet from a New Zealander makes a contribution back to New Zealand and it would have a requirement that anyone who was offering betting on New Zealand racing or sport would have to make a contribution back to the New Zealand industry as well.”

According to a recent radio report made by the Racing Minister, Nathan Guy, the new law will hopefully help New Zealand regain about $16 million. This way, all the revenues generated from horse race betting in New Zealand would remain in the country.


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Journalist, sociologist, passionate about writing and music. Especially jazz music, so can be defined as a jazz journalist too. Besides these, loves writing about everything from extreme sports to gambling or fashion sociology. Wine, Coffee and Winter fan, and a real OPTIMIST.

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