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The House of Representatives passed the Racing Amendments’ Bill through its first reading tonight, during the final sitting week before the election.

The Bill has been referred to the Primary Production Committee.

“It’s a day of celebration for the racing industry as we take another step forward to getting money back into the New Zealand community,” Minister for Racing David Bennett says.

“I would like to acknowledge all those who have worked so hard to get us to this position, especially the New Zealand Racing Board, its chair, the venerable Glenda Hughes, and its chief executive, John Allen.”

The Bill modernises racing and sports betting in New Zealand, amending the Racing Act 2003. It seeks to return money into New Zealand through information and consumption charges from offshore betting operators.

An information charge seeks money from offshore operators taking bets on New Zealand racing and sporting events.  A consumption charge seeks money from offshore operators taking bets from people living in New Zealand.

“The Racing Amendments’ Bill will also enable in-race betting, and will allow the New Zealand Racing Board to offer betting on a wider range of sports – which may soon include politics if the last month is anything to go by.”

“The broad cross-party support for the Bill recognises the importance so many people place on the collection of betting charges. Those charges will be used to assist the racing industry and other sports bodies to reinvest in their codes,” Mr Bennett says.

The Bill is available at:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2017/0288/latest/DLM7380406.html?src=qs

Note to editors:

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB), which operates the TAB, is the only provider of racing and sports betting that is authorised in New Zealand.  When people bet with the TAB here in New Zealand, the NZRB distributes profits to New Zealand’s racing and sports organisations.  It also helps to fund services that address gambling harm. New Zealanders can bet with offshore websites but, unlike the NZRB, the operators of those websites do not contribute any money back to this country.

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