Tab NZ announced that Mike Tod would step down from his position as chief executive after confirmation that New Zealand government approved their new strategic partnership with Entain.
Entain, under the agreement reached in March, will provide betting and broadcasting functions to Tab NZ in New Zealand for a 25-year period.
The arrangement will be in effect on 1 June, if the government approves it. Tab NZ stated that the partnership would provide an immediate financial boost to the 38 national sporting organizations and the three Racing Codes.
Mark Stewart, Tab NZ’s chairman said: “The approval is a response to a key recommendation in the Messara Report 2018 and we are delighted that the Minister of Racing has approved this strategic partnership arrangement.”
Tab NZ has reached a crucial point in its development due to the unprecedented competition of unregulated operators from overseas and the current economic downturns.
The Tab NZ Board, in support of the new agreement, has guaranteed an immediate increase and significant boost in distributions to Racing Codes over the next five-year period.
The minimum level for 2023-24 will be NZ$170m (PS86m/EUR99m/US$107m), up 36% on the current financial year. In 2024-24, the figure will be $175m. This will increase to $180m by 2025-26. $185m by 2026-27. and $200m in 2027-28.
National sporting organisations will also receive a portion of a $15m one-time funding boost that will be paid out over the next 3 years. Sport NZ will receive a $500,000 payment, which is earmarked for women’s sports.
A $5m commitment upfront will also be made for harm minimisation. The $4m investment will accelerate the deployment of facial recognition technology in 100 Tab venues. A $1m research fund will provide grants to research on gambling harm.
Dean Shannon, chief executive of Entain Australia, said: “We think this 25-year partnership arrangement will change the game for sports betting in New Zealand.” We’re happy that this will provide financial benefits for the three New Zealand racing code and the wide range of national sporting organizations.
Tab NZ announced Tod’s resignation as CEO shortly after the government approved his appointment.
Nick Roberts, who will take over the role on 1 June, will focus his efforts on transitioning Tab NZ and leading it to its future state.
The remaining statutory body will operate on a smaller scale and concentrate on Tab NZ’s retained functions. This includes delivering on legal obligations, monitoring Entain’s regulatory and commercial performance, exploring new business opportunities with Entain and working with government to reform New Zealand’s laws on online gambling.
Stewart, of Tab NZ, said that Nick Stewart was an integral part of the Tab NZ team as general counsel and chief transition officer. Nick worked tirelessly to secure the strategic partnership arrangement with Entain.
The Tab NZ board and regulators, as well as the stakeholders who rely on TAB NZ’s funding, will find Nick’s legal and commercial skills invaluable. Nick has a deep understanding of NZ legislation, the wagering industry, and his contract which underpins Entain.
Roberts continued: “We’ve secured a change of fortunes in racing that will last a generation.” The racing industry leaders must seize the opportunity to deliver a sustainable model in the next five-years and provide customers with a world-class product and experience.
Entain is also investing in products and services that will benefit our sporting partners. Tab NZ will provide extra funding to some key national sporting organizations, allowing them to make significant investments in elite performance and participation.