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Offshore betting in Labour’s sights

Ross Robertson
Racing Spokesperson

14 August 2014

Offshore betting in Labour’s sights

A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says.

Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to New Zealand’s racing industry.

“It is estimated around $300-$400 million of Kiwi money is placed on overseas sports betting sites that aren’t subject to levies or tax. That not only cuts the TAB’s odds but also starves this country’s racing industry of funds.

“Other countries, including the UK, are implementing legislation that makes clear that a bet placed on a local website should be subject to that jurisdiction’s tax rules.

“A Labour Government will do the same to ensure New Zealand Racing and the TAB are not disadvantaged by overseas bookies and agencies, a move that is expected to increase the Government tax take by around $20 million a year.

“Labour will bring together industry stakeholders, including social service providers, to review wider gambling regulation and develop policy on the use of pokie machines.

“We will also assist in establishing a Code of Practice for the racing industry, which will be agreed on and drawn up by all major stakeholders. It will safeguard the position of the NZ Racing Board to hold the exclusive rights to racing and sports betting in this country and for the net proceeds to be returned to support New Zealand racing.

“While the racing industry makes a significant contribution to New Zealand’s GDP and creates employment and export opportunities, it does face difficulties in remaining sustainable into the future.

“Labour recognises that and will work alongside the sector to support its revitalisation,” Ross Robertson said.

ENDS

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