NZ TAB raises racing contribution following betting surge

| By Richard Mulligan
New Zealand’s racing industry is set to benefit from a 20% rise in contributions from TAB NZ thanks to a surge in betting during the most recent financial year.
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Next year, the three racing codes – New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR), Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) and Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) – are projected to receive $23m more in fixed distributions compared to that budgeted for the current financial year, at a total of $140m.

TAB NZ, which has a statutory monopoly on betting in New Zealand, said total distributions to sport are also set to increase with a provisional projected total of $19.7m across the next financial year, up $3.6m – or 23% – on this year’s budget.

“A number of factors have contributed to the TAB being able to provide this projected boost in distributions,” the operator explained. “These include strong financial performance across the current financial year, disciplined cost management on the back of a change in organisational direction and restructuring in 2020, and revenue uplift from improved margin performance and increased product availability.”

Last week, NZ TAB released its performance figures for May, with turnover, gross betting revenue and net betting revenue all above budget for the month.

Turnover of $211.3m was $16.5m above budget and $85.6m above last year. The strong performance against budget was driven by sport and assisted by the number of major sporting events being broadcast globally. Total gross betting revenue was $33.9m, $3.2m above budget and at a margin of 16%.

For the year to date, the reported profit is $147.2m, which is $37.5m above budget. Normalised profit is $145.4m, which is $35.7m above budget.

Commenting on the projected increase in distributions to racing and returns to sport, NZ TAB chief transition officer Dean McKenzie said: “It’s great that we’re in a position to increase our returns to the community in the next financial year.

“Last year was a challenge for all of us and like many, our organisation went through a lot of change, but we’re now seeing the positive returns from the investment made by the Government and the industry in the TAB.

“We’re excited with where we are heading and incredibly proud that significant tangible benefits from all the hard work over the last two or three years are now starting to flow to both racing and sport in New Zealand.”

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