New Zealand has a new racing industry organisation with TAB New Zealand coming into effect on 1 August.
Executive Chair Dean McKenzie says the new organisation represents more than just a name change.
“The change marks a significant milestone in the history of the TAB and the racing industry. It also brings to an end a 13-month period of transitioning, as RITA, from the New Zealand Racing Board,” he says.
Mr McKenzie says the Racing Industry Transition Authority has worked closely with the country’s racing codes to make the changes necessary to ensure a finally stable future for the industry.
“TAB NZ will now have a sole focus on our customers and to maximise its profits for the racing industry and returns for sports, while at the same time ensuring the risks of problem and underage gambling are managed. For the Codes, they now have the power to move forward in a way that hadn’t been previously possible by having responsibility for the promotion and development of their sports.”
Mr McKenzie says while the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on the TAB’s revenue, the organisation was already seeing signs of recovery.
“Like everyone else in New Zealand we have had to make some changes, but we are looking forward with some confidence, cautiously optimistic of the year ahead,” he says.
Mr McKenzie praised Racing Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters for implementing significant changes to the industry that would secure its long term success.
“As we transition to TAB New Zealand we do so knowing that, despite the enormous challenges presented by COVID, RITA has delivered on the Racing Minister's expectations which were set out last year. The Board is grateful for his ongoing commitment and support, as well as from those across Government and Parliament who have supported the charge to reform the industry over the past two years.”