NZ Racing backs plans for offshore fee

NZ Racing backs plans for offshore fee

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 Totally Gaming
Greg Purcell said offshore bookmakers are "free-riding"

Senior figures from New Zealand’s Racing industry have backed plans to impose charges on offshore bookmakers for taking bets from New Zealand nationals and offering markets based on the country’s sports events.

Thoroughbred Racing chief executive Greg Purcell said the industry was missing out on income because of the estimated NZ$329m (€203.3m/$218.4m) wagered with Australian totalisator operators in 2015, while around NZ$58m was bet by New Zealanders offshore.

Purcell spoke out after Racing Minister Nathan Guy outlined plans last month for an Offshore Bookmaker Fee, whereby non-domestic gambling operators would have to pay a fee whenever they accepted bets on racing and sporting events in New Zealand or accepted bets from nationals. Guy suggested the Fee could raise up to NZ$16m annually.

"Australian corporate bookmakers aren't paying us any money and are free-riding on our product,” said Purcell, according to Radio New Zealand. “All we want is a fair go and a fair fee for payment.

"In New Zealand we really are quite cash-poor. We have a very small population and quite a substantial racing industry so we're going to put it primarily into prize-money and into the promotion of our sport."

Meanwhile, New Zealand Racing Board chief executive John Allen said if legislation passed, he would expect overseas bookmakers to comply.

"The large corporate bookmakers around the world that tend to be multi-national players are very experienced at making these sorts of payments back to industry,” he said. "So, even though it would be extra-territorial, and so that creates some challenges, our expectation is that it would be largely voluntary compliance.”

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