Law reform that delivers a single-operator betting market is the best harm minimisation outcome for Kiwi punters, says TAB New Zealand’s CEO Nick Roberts.
“We estimate that as much as $200 million is now being lost annually through offshore betting sites by people based in New Zealand, giving offshore operators a third of our country’s betting market,” Mr Roberts says.
“We know that customers have excluded themselves in the past – or been excluded by TAB – only for them to end up betting with an offshore operator.”
Mr Roberts says that Gambling Harm Awareness Week is an important week for the discussion of gambling issues, but it is important that gambling operators don’t just show up for one week a year.
“Our statutory objectives include maximising funding to racing and sport but that is subject to minimising harm and under-age betting. This means that harm minimisation is at our very core.”
TAB NZ commenced a strategic partnership with Entain on 1 June. The arrangement will mean TAB NZ’s 250,000-plus customers will have access to world-leading harm minimisation tools.
“The Entain partnership is a game-changer and will mean our customers will be betting in a much safer environment than if we went it alone,” Mr Roberts says.
“We have secured contractual commitments from Entain that will ensure harm minimisation remains central to their delivery of betting services to our customers.”
TAB NZ has also invested an additional $5 million in harm minimisation measures.
“By early December, we anticipate having facial recognition in every standalone TAB venue, with a further 50 sites expected to have the technology in the new year. We are also creating a $1 million fund to research gambling harm in New Zealand’s unique environment.”
While the Entain partnership is a great step forward for Kiwi punters, Mr Roberts says the job isn’t done yet.
“We’ve made some great steps forward with the Government this term and we look forward to continuing our work after the election so that all gambling in New Zealand is only done through highly trusted operators who are committed to minimising harm and ensuring the highest levels of community returns from the gambling activity”.
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