Sportsbet given the go-ahead to live stream NZ races in Australia

The New Zealand Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) will oversee a new deal which sees Sportsbet launch live streaming of races to its Australian customers.

The agreement will see Flutter Entertainment-owned Sportsbet feature live streams of NZ thoroughbred and harness racing, as well as greyhound racing events, which will be seen on their Australian site. Tabcorp, the long-term broadcast and wagering partner of the New Zealand TAB, will act as intermediary deliverer of the content.

TAB general manager for media and international Andy Kydd said: “The new deal involves Sportsbet taking live vision of all three codes of New Zealand racing, getting our racing in front of a big new audience in the Australian market that we’ve never been in, while bringing in a new revenue source for the industry.

“Sportsbet is the largest corporate bookmaker in Australia by a stretch and the second biggest operator in the market behind Tabcorp.

“We are very grateful to Tabcorp for delivering the vision to Sportsbet, their biggest competitor in Australia.”

Following a deal between RIITA and Betfair, another Flutter-owned brand, it will see Betfair agree to pay product fees to the TAB in return for offering odds on New Zealand racing. Similar agreements, as part of a wider drive to revitalise the country’s racing industry, are being negotiated with other Australian operators.

Announced in April this year, the New Zealand government aims to halt the industry’s decline, with the existing horse racing levy to be phased out over the next three years. In 2018, the levy generated NZ$13.9m (£7.4m/€8.0m/US$8.9m), representing 4% of overall betting profit in the country, with these funds to be reinvested in racing and sport going forward.

This also saw the New Zealand Racing Board replaced with the RITA, to manage the transition to a new governance structure. While the government’s plans specifically ruled out implementing a licensing model for betting operators. This will look to impose a point of consumption tax on offshore operators who will be taking bets ins the market.

This may be complemented by an expansion of legal products, and a potential licensing system for certain vertices after a public consultation to gauge public support for regulating new forms of online gambling was launched earlier this month. As technology rapidly develops, and with gambling legislation remaining unchanged since 2003, the government continues to ensure that customers are protected from the negative effects of gambling.

Only Lotto NZ and the TAB are currently permitted to offer gambling products online, although the government has acknowledged am increase in the number of New Zealanders who are gambling through offshore providers.

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