New Zealand’s Racing Minister, Nathan Guy, is very interested in online gambling, but don’t go targeting him as a potential conversion just yet.

Earlier this week Guy commissioned a study group to take a look at New Zealand’s online gambling industry and figure out what to do about the problem of offshore gaming sites. That problem, it turns out, is that offshore gambling sites are biting into revenues to the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB).

NZRB holds a legal monopoly on Kiwi sports betting and, like most monopolies, they’re not too keen on competition. Though that’s not how Tab described his intentions to a New Zealand sports website called Stuff:

When New Zealanders place their sports and racing bets with overseas betting operators online, they operate outside of our regulatory framework. This means that offshore organisations make money on New Zealand racing and sports without paying their fair share of tax, or making contributions back to the racing industry or sporting organisations that make the betting possible in the first place.

The stakes in this battle are very high as Kiwis spend an estimated $300 million a year on sports betting.

The NZ Government is keen on keeping its share of all that potential tax revenue by keeping offshore operators -whether they’re run by legitimate companies or not – out of the picture.

Findings from the working group are due this September but there’s little doubt as to what their final conclusion will be.


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