New Zealand Takes On Offshore Operators

New Zealand Racing Minister Nathan Guy (l.) says the government is exploring ways to put a lid on illegal online gambling. Currently, all racing and sports betting in the country is operated under the legal aegis of the Totaliser Agency Board.

NZ feels loss of tax dollars

New Zealand is looking at ways it can crack down on online gambling, according to the PressReader. The country’s Totaliser Agency Board, known simply as the TAB, now has a monopoly on all racing and sports betting within New Zealand. But its primacy is being threatened by the borderless world of digital gaming.

“When New Zealanders place their sports and racing bets with overseas betting operators online, they operate outside of our regulatory framework,” Guy said in a statement. “This means that offshore organizations make money on New Zealand racing and sports without paying their fair share of tax, or making contributions back to the racing industry or sporting organizations that make the betting possible in the first place.”

Onetime Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain will head a new group that is exploring the issue and working to “clarify the extent of the problem, Guy said. “Given the global trend towards online betting, this issue will continue to grow and needs to be addressed now.”

According to the government, Kiwis spend up to $300 million a year on unregulated online gaming sites. “This is a positive step towards what has been a long-standing issue for New Zealand’s racing industry and we look forward to seeing progress made on combatting the increasing impact of off-shore betting in New Zealand,” Racing Board Chairwoman Glenda Hughes said in a statement.