In a radical power move, TAB New Zealand (TAB NZ) has assumed control of the racing industry in New Zealand. They are replacing the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) and New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB).
TAB NZ intends to boost racing industry revenues in the wake of the destructive pandemic. The focus will now be on limiting underage and problem gambling throughout New Zealand.
According to RITA Executive Chair Dean McKenzie,
“The change marks a significant milestone in the history of the TAB and the racing industry. It also brings to an end a 13-month period of transitioning.”
Individual racing codes will be implemented and sufficient autonomy for venues to promote their competitions and events.
These changes will bring stability to the industry.
“TAB NZ will now have a sole focus on customers to maximize profits for the racing industry and returns for sports, ensuring the risks of underage gambling are managed.”
McKenzie is vocally optimistic about the industry’s the immediate future given the signs of recovery. Challenges posed by COVID-19 have been met, enough to resume competitive racing.
“Participants should be congratulated for their effort and commitment.
There’s still ongoing uncertainty overseas, but we look forward to a newly reformed industry and are cautiously optimistic of the year ahead.”
Of note, these changes began with the Racing Reform Act implemented in July of 2019, The second stage was passed by the New Zealand government this June. McKenzie has praised Racing Minister Winston Peters for championing the reforms.
“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.”