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Racing Act Passes The Post

Racing Act Passes The Post

Legislation passed in Parliament today will see the TAB merged with the Racing Industry Board, says Associate Racing Minister Damien O’Connor.

The Racing Act 2003 simplifies the governance of racing by merging the two organisations, a proposal that was first put to the government by a group of key racing industry organisations in 2000, he said today.

“This has really been an industry driven initiative. The Racing Industry Board, the TAB, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, Harness Racing New Zealand and the New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association developed the proposal this Act is based on. “Subsequent consultation with the wider industry revealed overwhelming support for a merger of the TAB and RIB that is the mainstay of this legislation.’’

A single body – the New Zealand Racing Board – is to replace the two boards. However the TAB brand will continue to be used as the commercial arm of the new board.

Mr O’Connor said the Board would be responsible for administering racing and also for providing racing and sports betting services. It would promote the racing industry and aim to maximise its profits for the long-term benefit of New Zealand racing.

“The need for reform was becoming quite urgent. While the old racing legislation served its purpose in its day, it is now hopelessly out of date.

“The underlining objective is improved administrative efficiency. This legislation provides a modern framework for key industry bodies to work together for the betterment of the New Zealand racing industry.”

The new Act also gives the three racing code bodies greater responsibility, while strengthening their accountability to the Board, said Mr O’Connor. “The codes will have the responsibility for distributing betting profits to their constituent clubs. Each code will receive a share of betting profits and will have the freedom to make its own decisions about expenditure. However, the Board will have the right to withhold funding from a code if it does not approve the code’s statement of intent or business plan. This is to protect the interests of the public and those whose livelihoods are derived from racing. “The government is pleased to fulfil its promise to the racing industry by delivering these changes. This Act helps move the industry forward and gives it the impetus to successfully tackle future challenges.”

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