(I’ll be posting the detailed preview of Warwick Farm by 2 p.m.) Now posted here
“We pay the money, we pluck the duck.” That was Winston Peters reply to the question, ‘Your intention for New Zealand to not be able to gamble with overseas gambling sites and only be able to gamble with NZ online, is that the end point you want to get to?
The Department of Internal Affairs is investigating online betting for the racing industry. There can be only one implication from that statement and that is New Zealand punters will not be able to access overseas betting sites. That will force them to bet with the NZ TAB so the Government can then pluck that duck in the form of taxes after feeding it $72 million.
Many punters are either frustrated with the TAB service and site, or are restricted or banned from it. This has caused many of them to use overseas betting sites as well as the exchange Betfair, which is becoming more popular because of its option to back, lay and trade. So if all of those are banned, and those Kiwi punters are to be tempted at all to use the NZ TAB again, they have to go close to matching those overseas options otherwise they will just use VPNs to keep betting overseas and we will not see turnover grow and the duck will keep his feathers.
If they do match them, by getting in real punters this time to advise them what most punters want, then there may be some hope of the government getting a constant and growing supply of ducks to pluck. Owners may also see stakes going up and may stop selling their horses overseas to keen overseas buyers racing for decent stakes. Needless to say, we have a crucial six months coming up and everything, and I mean everything, hinges on how the NZ TAB site will change, if at all! I really do hope RITA get it right as I just can’t see the Government bailing out the industry again.
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