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TAB NZ sees revenue dip as punters celebrate Argentina victory

| By Richard Mulligan
TAB New Zealand (TAB NZ) paid the price for bettors backing champions Argentina as a FIFA World Cup turnover boost could not prevent a dip in win in December.

For the month to 31 December 2022, the gaming operator generated turnover of NZ$255.9m ($165.8m/€152.1m/£135.7m), which was 6.2% above budget and up 5.9% year-on-year. Overall field sizes across all three racing codes were either up on, or on par with, the year-to-date average, and sport turnover was considerably up due to the FIFA World Cup, which concluded in the middle of the month.

However, the reduced betting margin in December – particularly driven by heavy support for Argentina in the World Cup final – had an effect on the overall result. Gross betting revenue (GBR) of $38.1m was below budget by 2.3% ($0.9m) and exactly the same as the December 2021 figure. Gross betting margin (BGM) of 14.9% was 1.3 percentage points below budget, and slightly down year-on-year.

Average NZ thoroughbred starters per race in December was 10.9, above the year-to-date average of 10.6, and the peak meeting turnover of $5.2m was at the Boxing Day Races at Pukekohe. Harness average starters per race was 10.1, matching the year-to-date average, and the peak meeting turnover of $2.1m was on 4 December for the Harness Grand Prix at Addington. For greyhound racing, the average starters per race was 7.4, matching the year-to-date average. The peak turnover for a domestic greyhound meeting was $417k on 1 December at Addington.

The top sporting event by turnover for December was the FIFA World Cup final featuring Argentina and France with turnover of $2.0m. Basketball was the leading in-play sporting code accounting for 44% of in-play turnover while football was the top pre-match singles sporting code with 49% of turnover.

TAB NZ’s reported profit for the month was $14.0m, which was $2.4m below budget, while operating expenses were $10.6m for the month, which was $0.4m above budget.

Year-to-date Reported Profit is $61.7m, which was $9.7m below budget, while year-to-date operating expenses were $53.7m, which was $2.4m above budget.

Racing codes were paid $17.2m in distributions and other payments for December, versus $17.4m budgeted. This consisted of TAB NZ Betting Profit, offshore bookmaker commission fees, which are based on actual turnover and Betting Duty/Levy repeal.

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