Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Chief Stipe

RITA RACING REFORM PROGRAMME UPDATE

Recommended Posts

Good evening,

It’s been just sixty days since the establishment of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) and a timely opportunity to update you on progress against the Reform Programme the Board are advancing on behalf of the Minister for Racing. 

Our strategic focus is set out very clearly in the letter of expectation from the Minister for Racing -  we must work to secure the long-term success of the New Zealand racing industry. We must reform the industry into a more sustainable structure, and support them as it goes through this change. 

You will know that there are 17 recommendations from the Review of the New Zealand Racing Industry by John Messara that we are working through. Many of these need policy, legislation and comprehensive regulations for the proposed changes to take effect. Much of this work is complex and requires significant focus from RITA Board and management, as well as the Department of Internal Affairs. 

As we come into the important period of Spring racing we are encouraged by the progress made to give effect to this ambition. 

Bill One

The first Racing Reform Bill came into effect on July 1 and addresses the industry’s need for additional revenue. This included the totalisator (betting) duty paid to the Crown being phased out and the introduction of two new charges on overseas betting operators (offshore charges) to help ensure they contribute to the New Zealand racing and sports codes from which they benefit. 

The money available as a consequence of the reduction in Betting Duty is being held by RITA while the final details of its distribution between Harm Minimisation Initiatives, and the Racing Codes and Sports NZ is finalised. From mid 2021, we would expect the returns will be in excess of $14m, with approximately $4m available this year. The distribution amounts need to be set by a specific regulation and we will update the industry prior to Christmas on the outcome.

The Offshore Charges will be able to be set and collected following the implementation of regulations.  It is expected that this process will be completed and collection commenced from the beginning of the 2020 calendar year.

While overseas betting operators will be required to pay product fees in due course, a number of these have already committed to voluntary charges, most recently Sportsbet. This is in addition to the arrangement secured with Betfair earlier this year,  and discussions with other operators in the Australian market are ongoing.

The first Bill also permits RITA to offer betting on a wider range of sports where an agreement is reached with Sport NZ. We are hopeful of new sports being made available to TAB customers before the end of the year. 

Bill Two

Work is now well advanced on preparing the second Bill which we anticipate being introduced into Parliament at the end of this year.  This will include provisions designed to give effect to the establishment of TAB NZ in order to maximise revenue and profit for racing and to the transfer to the individual Codes of a range of racing and industry responsibilities previously undertaken by RITA. We have sought feedback from the Codes on this with a view to policy decisions being taken for inclusion in the draft policy papers for the Bill.

Provisions to facilitate discussion between Codes and Clubs in relation to the future of New Zealand’s racing venues, as part of the Future Venue Plan work started last year, are expected to be included in the new Bill.

The Messara recommendations in relation to the racing Integrity bodies and animal welfare have been advanced in an independent review undertaken by Malcolm Burgess.  His Report has been circulated for consultation with the various views currently being analysed, including from the JCA and RIU who presented to the Board at our last meeting.  The decisions on a new Governance structure for integrity bodies will likely be made by the Board at our next meeting on September 25, and could result in specific legislative considerations in the Bill. 

Messara also recommended an independent performance and efficiency audit on the NZRB and we expect a final version in mid September. This has been slightly delayed to ensure the scope of the report brief was fully met. Once complete it will be sent to the Minister. In addition, we've had an independent report on the Distribution Model under section 16 of the Act developed and which will be discussed with the Codes within the next few weeks with regulations developed next year.

Harm Minimisation

As the Board work through the various recommendations we remain acutely aware of our responsibility to minimise the harm that gambling can lead to for some people. RITA management has reviewed its work in this area and developed a comprehensive strategy to add further weight to activities already underway. This will include utilising technology, improving communications and building stronger partnerships with the sector. 

Industry Engagement

Over the past few weeks we have met with the Boards of the three Codes to update them on the process and our progress.  We will also keep the industry up to speed on our progress where we can. 

Good progress is being made but to meet the timelines required for the legislative process the momentum must be sustained.

We will provide a further RITA operational update in September.

Yours sincerely,

Dean McKenzie

Chair

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Chief Stipe said:

The money available as a consequence of the reduction in Betting Duty is being held by RITA while the final details of its distribution between Harm Minimisation Initiatives, and the Racing Codes and Sports NZ is finalised. From mid 2021, we would expect the returns will be in excess of $14m, with approximately $4m available this year. The distribution amounts need to be set by a specific regulation and we will update the industry prior to Christmas on the outcome.

 

Mmm this looks dodgy.  When do we see the accounts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/08/2019 at 11:11 AM, Chief Stipe said:

Mmm this looks dodgy.  When do we see the accounts?

The whole shebang is dodgy. A feckin big smokescreen. Almost 2 years since the losers coalition was stitched up together and what has taken place in the industry? A big fat ZERO. Nada, Zilch. Even tommo couldn't defend this bunch of fuckwits and thats saying something.Show me something constructive-stakemoney? no change until at least the end of this racing season. Disgraceful, still racing for peanuts.Tracks? -abandonments as usual.Replacement tracks?-NOT ONE...not even started. R.I.U?-incompetent, as ever. Picking on the easy targets. Racing Minister?-full of piss and wind, as we knew he would be.

R.I.P the racing industry.

  • Like 3
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Attention Chief,

I note with interest that Dean McKenzie is willing to answer questions on station 2.

In these cases persons in that type of position usually invoke the principle of fairness by not just seeming to support one outlet.

Could I suggest you approach McKenzie and offer the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/09/2019 at 2:42 PM, The Centaur said:

Attention Chief,

I note with interest that Dean McKenzie is willing to answer questions on station 2.

In these cases persons in that type of position usually invoke the principle of fairness by not just seeming to support one outlet.

Could I suggest you approach McKenzie and offer the same.

I'm happy for you to approach.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/09/2019 at 2:16 PM, Kopia said:

The whole shebang is dodgy. A feckin big smokescreen. Almost 2 years since the losers coalition was stitched up together and what has taken place in the industry? A big fat ZERO. Nada, Zilch. Even tommo couldn't defend this bunch of fuckwits and thats saying something.Show me something constructive-stakemoney? no change until at least the end of this racing season. Disgraceful, still racing for peanuts.Tracks? -abandonments as usual.Replacement tracks?-NOT ONE...not even started. R.I.U?-incompetent, as ever. Picking on the easy targets. Racing Minister?-full of piss and wind, as we knew he would be.

R.I.P the racing industry.

Are you for fucking real?

Whilst things are a little slow in turning around the Titanic, it was 9 years of a National Government that couldn’t have given a monkey’s about racing that’s created the problem(s).

Having said that, they (the Nats) did have a major with the Christchurch earthquakes and JK’s attempts to cuddle up Obama, amazing as that may seem. 

Maybe it was simply golf and a condo in Hawaii that was the catalyst for his lack of focus on the real issues. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2019 at 9:24 PM, Dark Beau said:

Are you for fucking real?

Whilst things are a little slow in turning around the Titanic, it was 9 years of a National Government that couldn’t have given a monkey’s about racing that’s created the problem(s).

Having said that, they (the Nats) did have a major with the Christchurch earthquakes and JK’s attempts to cuddle up Obama, amazing as that may seem. 

Maybe it was simply golf and a condo in Hawaii that was the catalyst for his lack of focus on the real issues. 

Dark Beau, you are entitled to your opinion but I totally agree with Konica!

This Coalition government has done nothing positive to help racing in the 2 years that it has been in power!

No need to use expletives in reply either.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2019 at 9:24 PM, Dark Beau said:

Whilst things are a little slow in turning around the Titanic, it was 9 years of a National Government that couldn’t have given a monkey’s about racing that’s created the problem(s).

The problem(s) has been around longer than 9 years.  Isn't it and hasnt it always been an industry issue to fix not Government?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Chief Stipe said:

The problem(s) has been around longer than 9 years.  Isn't and hasnt always been and industry issue to fix not Government?

 

Yes,  agree - and better brains than mine have suggested same.

Successive Ministers from either persuasion have indicated ' racing,  get your house in order '  first,  before approaching with the begging bowl.

That said,  a Minister does have the prerogative to intercede with the R.B on certain matters.  Not the codes,  which - IMO - are as big a problem as the runaway R.B.....but the last few R.B appointments have been dire, as was the last Minister.

I was told ,  by a very experienced administrator,  that he once had a conversation with the then  Racing Minister Annette King.

She said ' how do you deal with these people?  I would gladly help - if I could - but there are so many factions, all wanting this and that and no-one can agree.  It's like herding cats . '  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2019 at 9:24 PM, Dark Beau said:

Are you for fucking real?

Whilst things are a little slow in turning around the Titanic, it was 9 years of a National Government that couldn’t have given a monkey’s about racing that’s created the problem(s).

Having said that, they (the Nats) did have a major with the Christchurch earthquakes and JK’s attempts to cuddle up Obama, amazing as that may seem. 

Maybe it was simply golf and a condo in Hawaii that was the catalyst for his lack of focus on the real issues. 

Well I havent heard what Peters said a couple of days ago..but he has been quoted as saying the ' Racing Bill' is conditional on money being made available to the Racing Industry via the sale of ( private property)"unwanted" racetracks! 

Jeeze wouldn't you love to see the so called 'coalition agreement' between Peters and his coalition loser partners, labour and the greens? It has become clear that the losers told Peters there aint no $$$ for you here, you'll have to screw it out of an already fucked industry. ...while ardern and the rest of her rotten crew splash money around as if it grew on trees.....

Tell me it aint so.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Pete's exceptionally matey with Peters...good on him...who doesn't like a good old whiskey chaser truth serum??

PETE needs to get hold of Winn for the coming Karaka Mill night...imbibe him until he can't take it no more...then hit him with FACTS from Brain's article...

...so the DIA gets the hell out...

We all lose unless the legislation is drastically changed or thrown out

52nd-parliament-20171129-high-res-1.Dx-E

by Brian de Lore
Published 10th January 2020

Whatever degree of decline you thought racing was in before December 5th, the entire future landscape of the racing industry changed for the worse on that date upon the release of the proposed legislation after its rubber-stamping by both Cabinet and Racing Minister Winston Peters.

What this 100-page document is essentially saying is that racing is not capable of running itself, so here’s a Marxist left-wing decree that dismisses the majority of the recommendations of the Messara Review and negates the serious part of devolving control to the codes, and firmly grips the testicles of all three codes in a bureaucratic-DIA-operated vice. 

Winston: …positive reform and increased prizemoney – Yeah right!

The message communicated to the racing people of New Zealand by our now Minister Winston Peters, both pre-election and for a year post-election, was that we would get positive reform, increased stakes money, and return to self-determination with racing people running racing.

For a time, Peters and Racing were deeply in love. They became engaged to be married when the coalition government was formed in October 2017, and the relationship was developing marvellously until he met a new girl on the block named Rita. Now he’s in love with Dia, and as Princess DIAna once said, “three in a relationship becomes a little crowded.”

Hardly surprising was it to learn that the engagement between Peters and Racing is now off, and a kiss and make-up reconciliation is looking unlikely. Peters isn’t speaking to Racing (failure to respond to any of The Optimist’s last nine texts is proof enough) and Dia is now the Minister’s sweetheart despite being not so attractive plus a pro-1917-Russian Revolutionist, Marxist supporting and bourgeoisie hating, gender-neutral, dunce. There’s no accounting for taste, but it is what it is!

The latest speculation is that Winston’s are now firmly gripped in a DIA operated vice on the workbench, but that can’t be confirmed. What can be confirmed, as it is a matter of public record, is that Winston not only whispered sweet nothings in Racing’s ear but loudly declared his love and devotion to Racing when he made his speech to launch the Messara Review at Claudelands on August 30, 2018.

“We all know that so much of the legislation governing your industry was written, not for the industry’s benefit, but for the convenience of politicians and bureaucrats – you all know that, and all of us are to blame for allowing that to happen.” 

In that speech, Winston said: “We all know that so much of the legislation governing your industry was written, not for the industry’s benefit, but for the convenience of politicians and bureaucrats – you all know that, and all of us are to blame for allowing that to happen.”

It just goes to show you that when you are in love, you will say anything to get your wicked way. Winston’s quote retrospectively is a reminder of famous 19th-century writer Nathaniel Hawthorne who once said, “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the truth.”

What we do know is the quote from Winston above from Claudelands is taken verbatim from his speech, but the legislation says the opposite. It is a document written by the bureaucrats for the politicians and the bureaucrats, and the only thing it will do for racing is retard it. We all lose unless this legislation is drastically changed or thrown out – racing loses the opportunity to distance itself from government control, and Winston loses all chance of keeping the racing vote.

In the Minister’s speech on the Messara Review launch, he also said: 

  • “Tonight we set before you a liferaft of reform – it’s reform or die, there’s no off-course substitute. 
  • It wasn’t an exercise in ghost-writing for a ministerial office wish-list. What you have in these recommendations is a clear view of what needs to be done. 
  • We didn’t commission this report from an expert to strip it of its value. 
  • The status quo has an inevitable outcome – a sad, not happy one at that. 
  • As John Messara said in his introductory video, we have a chance to turn racing’s ominous present and future around.”

It all sounded brilliant at the time, especially the bit about not commissioning an expert to do the report only to strip it of its value. But that’s exactly what’s happened – the expert discarded with advice taken from non-experts and the legislation written by the DIA with no industry knowledge. If adopted, racing will be exposed to further TAB board infiltration by sporting bodies looking for cash and the protestant groups – some of which would like to see racing banned altogether. 

Let’s say, Jacinda wins the October election and Labour can govern alone (God forbid), and she appoints as Racing Minister, a left-leaning, religiously motivated, animal rights sympathiser with beliefs fundamentally opposed to gambling. We know these people exist – they are out there waiting in the wings, Jacinda’s wings.

People appointed to the TAB board are entirely the decision of the Minister of Racing under this proposed legislation – how could we possibly take that risk. In NSW under their legislation, Part 2, Clause 5 says: “Racing NSW does not represent the Crown and is not subject to direction or control by or on behalf of the Government.” Also, they have a selection panel for board appointees, and all the Minister has to do under the NSW system is approve the appointments.

You can’t call what this New Zealand legislation is saying as ‘reform.’ It is ‘regression’ 

You can’t call what this New Zealand legislation is saying as ‘reform.’ It is ‘regression,’ and that will be Winston’s legacy to racing if it gets passed into law. The truest thing the Minister ever said to The Optimist in all our conversations was that he knew a whole lot more about politics than he did about racing.

The Messara Review launch in its entirety from August 2018 is viewable on the Youtube video link below. Also listed at the bottom of this blog is a table containing 64 occasions within the proposed legislation in which the Minister has the power to intervene and make the final decision. Where is the Ministerial accountability in this episode of unfortunate events – it will be a disaster if racing rolls over and allows this legislation to proceed. If it does, then kiss the game goodbye, and if you are young enough, head for Australia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHeCTwClVcA&t=970s

The word on the streets is that the three codes are united in their opposition to it, apart from Section 16 which,  is about the distribution of the profits to each code for stakes. Unless they make a strong, combined,  and unanimous protest to stop it, the writing will be on the wall. The Minister has to be convinced to stop listening to bad advice, dump DIA and resume his love affair with Racing, and be accountable for past promises. 

It’s an election year, and it’s hard to fathom why the Racing Minister wouldn’t keep faith with racing people and fix it. The socialists in the DIA are unlikely to vote for NZ First but nor will racing unless the Minister intervenes and simply does what he promised to do.  

RACING INDUSTRY BILL, December 2019

THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

MINISTER OR GOVERNMENT
“CONTROL NUMBER”

CLAUSE OF THE BILL

DESCRIPTION OF THE MINISTER’S ROLE

1

 

Clause 5 (3)

Interpretation. Minister recommends to Governor-General, for Order in Council, to add or remove names in the list of recognised industry organisations.

2

 

Cl. 9

Minister must receive a statement of intent and present the statement to the House of Representatives.

3

 

Cl 10

Minister must receive from each racing code a business plan and present the plan to the House.

4

Cl 12 (1)

If requested by the codes, Minister appoints a body to assume the role or functions of the codes.

5

 

Cl 12 (2)

Minister may set appointment process for the directors of a code if the Minister determines this is necessary.

6

Cl 13

Minister may appoint a Commissioner to resolve significant disagreement between any of the codes.

7

 

Cl 14

Minister recommends to Governor-General; for Order in Council to make regulations to impose a levy following appointment of a Commissioner.

8

 

Cl 17

Minister recommends to Governor-General; for Order in Council, to specify the date on which restrictions on transferring racing club land shall cease to apply.

9

 

Cl 25 (2)

Minister recommends to Governor-General, for Order in Council, to approve proposal to transfer a code’s surplus land.

10

Cl 25 (3)

Minister may request a transfer proposal of surplus land.

11

 

Cl 25 (6)

Minister recommends to Governor-General, for Order in Council, to amend a transfer proposal;

12

 

Cl 26

Minister must have regard to certain matters and appoint a reviewer before recommending a transfer order. [there are 6 lengthy sub-clauses setting out a complicated procedure]

13

Cl 26 (2)

Minister must appoint a reviewer before determining whether to make an order.

14

 

Cl 26 (4)

Minister must receive advice from the reviewer about making payments in terms of a transfer order.

15

Cl 26 (5)

Minister determines the apportionment of reviewer’s costs for transfer order.

16

 

Cl 27 (7)

Minister authorises “a person” to instruct the Registrar – General of Land to register the code as the owner of a surplus venue and record an entry on the title.

17

Cl 30

Minister must receive a copy of new or amended racing rules.

18

Cl 31

Minister must approve the rules for racing.

19

 

Cl 35

Minister must receive a report, as required, on the operation and effectiveness of the racing integrity system.

20

Cl 36

Minister appoints up to 7 members of the Racing Integrity Board.

21

 

CL 37

Minister must approve a budget in accordance with the Racing Integrity Board business plan.

22

 

Cl 38

Minister recommends to Governor-General, for Order in Council, regulations setting out the annual funding by the TAB of the Racing Integrity Board.

23

 

Cl 39

Minister must receive before the start of a racing year a Racing Integrity Board statement of intent for that year and each of the 2 subsequent years and present a copy to the House.

 24

Cl 40

Minister must receive a copy of the Racing Integrity Board business plan for that year and present a copy to the House.

25

Cl 45

Minister must approve any partnering arrangement by the TAB.

26

 

Cl 46 (1)(6)

Minister appoints up to 7 members, and casual vacancies, of the “governing body” of TAB NZ

27

Cl 46 (3)

Minister appoints a chairperson of TAB NZ from amongst the 7 members.

28

 

Cl 46 (5)

Minister must notify the appointments to TAB NZ in the Gazette.

29

 

Cl 52(1)

Minister must receive a copy of the TAB NZ statement of intent.

30

 

Cl 52(4)

Minister must present a copy of the statement of intent to the House.

31

 

Cl 53

Minister must receive a copy of the TAB NZ business plan.

32

 

Cl 53

Minister must present a copy of the business plan to the House.

33

 

Cl54

Minister must receive a copy of the TAB NZ annual report and financial statements

34

 

Cl54

Minister must present a copy of the TAB NZ annual report and financial statements to the House.

35

 

Cl 61

Minister recommends to the Governor-General regulations describing the method to be used by the TAB for distributing to the codes surpluses from various sources.

36

 

Cl 63 (1)

Minister recommends to the Governor-General regulations prescribing the method to determine payments to the codes and Sport & Recreation NZ of betting profits.

37

 

Cl 63 (4)

Minister must consult with Minister for Sport and Recreation before making a recommendation under sub-clause (1).

38

 

Cl 64(2)

Minister must receive a copy of the TAB NZ rules and any amendments.

39

 

Cl 64(3)

The TAB NZ rules must be notified in the Gazette.

40

 

Cl 65

Minister must approve the promotion, conduct or control of a race meeting by the TAB NZ.

41

Cl 77(1)

Minister must receive a copy of the TAB betting rules, and amendments, for race betting and sports betting. and must present these to the House

42

 

Cl 77(2)

Minister must present a copy of the rules or amended rules to the House.

43

 

Cl 91

Minister may recommend to the Governor-General, who by Order in Council, may make regulations relating to gambling harm and minimisation, including requirements for the design, layout and furnishing of a TAB venue.

44

 

Cl 92

Minister may recommend to the Governor-General, who by Order in Council,  may make regulations controlling admission to and exclusion from TAB venues

45

 

Cl 93

Minister may recommend to the Governor-General, who by Order in Council, may make regulations for exclusion of problem gamblers from TAB venues and racecourses.

46

 

Cl 99

The Department [currently Internal Affairs] is the designated authority to implement betting information and consumption charges.

47

 

Cl 100

The Department has power to delegate any functions or powers as the designated authority.

48

 

Cl 103

Minister must set the rates of betting information charges.

49

 

Cl 102

The Bill sets out a range of items that must form a betting information use agreement, including the payment of sums received direct to the designated authority, ie, the Dept of Internal Affairs.

50

 

Cl 104

Designated authority has power to enforce betting information use agreements.

51

 

Cl 105

Sums received from consumption charges are paid to the designated authority.

52

 

Cl 106

Minister must set rates of consumption charges.

53

 

Cl 108 (1)

Minister must take into account various matters before setting the rates of betting information use and consumption charges.

54

 

Cl 108 (2)

Minister must publish a statement of reasons why the betting information use and consumption charges are fair and reasonable.

55

 

Cl 109

Minister must review, at least every 5 years, the rates of betting information use and consumption charges.

56

 

Cl 112

Minister may exempt offshore betting operator from certain requirements.

57

 

Cl 119

Minister recommends to the Governor-General the financial and other information the offshore betting operator must provide to the “designated authority”, ie, the Dept. of Internal Affairs.

58

 

Cl 123

Minister recommends to the Governor-General regulations for a variety of matters including terms and conditions for TAB commercial agreements, the process for transferring surplus venues, administration of Racing Integrity Board, appointment of judicial committees, the minimum amounts payable to sporting organisations etc.

59

 

Schedule 1, Part 1,

Clause 5

Minister appoints establishment board of up to 5 members for transition of racing integrity system under the old Act to the new system established under the new Act.

60

 

Schedule 3,

Clause 2

Minister appoints a deputy chairperson of TAB NZ

61

 

Schedule 3,

Clause 3

Minister may remove from office any TAB NZ member.

62

 

Schedule 3,

Clause 5

Minister determines remuneration of TAB NZ members.

63

 

Schedule 4,

Clause 2

Minister consults with TAB NZ on terms of reference for a performance and efficiency audit.

64

 

Schedule 4,

Clause 3

Minister must consult with TAB NZ on appointment of the auditor for the performance and efficiency audit.

E & OE

John Aubrey

5 January 2020.

 

 
Sharing is caring!
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

C'mon racing is getting what its deserves , the way they have treatedmany stakeholders since the M report has been despicable! 

Industry participants not caring an iota for others in the industry for their own personal gain  , like Pop ... racing will eat itself.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as the black hole of Waikato keeps sucking the energy in,  there will be swfa chance of anything changing.   JMO.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I didn't read it thoroughly but got a RITA newsletter this morning sounding all in favour of the bill (though they did emphasise that they didn't write it).

This is our last chance to get changes made to fix the industry 

Edited by Reefton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Racing Reform Update #6 from Chair, Dean McKenzie

10 January 2020
GREYHOUND3_0.jpg

With the new year underway, we wanted to write to you and your members again regarding the Racing Industry Bill. As you will be aware, the Government’s Bill is currently before Parliament and will, once passed, give effect to many of the critical changes required to revitalise the New Zealand racing industry. 

This is a very significant and comprehensive Bill and reflects a determined focus and commitment from this Government to the racing industry. The RITA Board welcomes the Bill and the opportunities it presents for everyone connected to racing in New Zealand.

Prior to the Christmas break, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing provided an initial assessment of the Bill to clubs, outlining  their early views on some of the key provisions. Subsequent to this, we have received a number of requests from racing clubs to provide RITA’s thoughts on the Bill and to clarify our position on elements of NZTR’s email that reference a view of RITA.

While we will be holding conversations later this month with the industry to discuss the proposed legislation, the RITA Board is concerned that there is some degree of misinformation about elements of the Bill that should be cleared up as soon as possible. We wanted to cover off some of these aspects here, while also taking the opportunity to set out RITA’s position on some key aspects of the Bill. 

Future Industry Structure

This Bill (which is the second piece of racing reform legislation) finalises the post-transition structure of our industry.

Under the Bill, TAB NZ is established as a new entity, responsible for betting, broadcasting and gaming. Operating as a commercially focused wagering entity, TAB NZ has a legal responsibility to maximise its profits for the long term benefit of New Zealand racing.

The three Racing Codes are responsible for governance and administration functions within their respective code. These functions include oversight of racing clubs, venues and participants, development of racing rules and animal welfare policies and distribution of revenue to clubs. 

In carrying out their functions, each Code is required to adhere to the rules of natural justice and exhibit a sense of social responsibility by having regard to the interests of the community in which it operates. These are important legal principles that will govern how a Code undertakes its functions (and provide important “checks and balances” for the comfort of clubs and all industry participants).

Principle of “regulatory back stops”

The Bill provides the Codes with a variety of tools and functions to effectively govern their industries.  However, the Bill also introduces a number of regulatory/statutory backstops in the event that the Codes (or other industry participants) are at an impasse or otherwise require Government assistance. These are largely helpful fallback provisions and having a Minister being able to make a decision, in the event progress is not being made, is positive and may help deal with issues that have gone unresolved for decades and have held the industry back. 

In RITA’s view, generally, these provisions do not detract from the overall theme of the legislation which is to place appropriate control of the industry in the hands of industry participants and ensure clear pathways for decision making, enabling the industry to move forward. 

Further, clubs and Codes can take comfort from the fact that Ministerial decision making, if it comes to that stage, will also be subject to judicial review considerations (including principles of natural justice).

New Revenue 

The legislation is intended to deliver real benefits for industry participants. Therefore, RITA is concerned by suggestions that no extra revenue will flow to the Codes directly under this Bill. Whilst this Bill is a complete rewrite of the Racing Act 2003 it incorporates all of the revenue initiatives introduced last year (as part of the first racing reform legislation). These initiatives (reduction in betting duty and the suite of offshore charges) have already, and will continue to generate much needed revenue for the industry. For example, funds already collected as a result of the betting duty reduction are  being specifically ring-fenced by RITA until Government regulations are issued to determine the distribution of those funds between the Racing Codes and Sport NZ (with a proportion of those funds also being allocated to betting related harm minimisation initiatives). From mid 2021, we would expect these returns alone will be in excess of $14m per annum. 

Under the current Bill, the statutory offshore charges will be able to be set and collected following the implementation of regulations (which are currently being considered by the Government). The Minister has indicated he will direct the Select Committee to consider amendments allowing the industry to reach better voluntary commercial arrangements on the offshore charges regime. These amendments will be sent to the Committee when the Parliament resumes this year. In the meantime, a number of offshore wagering operators have already committed to paying voluntary charges, most recently SportsBet and Ladbrokes. 

The Bill also introduces provisions which are intended to allow TAB NZ to offer a broader range of betting products, to increase revenue for the industry (subject to an approval process and a number of important considerations being met, including in relation to harm minimisation).  In our view this is not yet where it needs to be and is one area of the Bill that RITA will be considering closely as part of the Select Committee process, with a view to seeking increased flexibility for RITA in introducing new products.

Venues

We know the Bill’s provisions in relation to racing venues have generated much attention already. We understand that the new proposed processes are a source of concern for some clubs and so, with this in mind, we will separately provide a more detailed synopsis of the Bill’s venue provisions.  

The majority of the industry recognise that there are too many racing venues to support sustainably. In helping determine the optimum footprint of racing venues, the Bill provides a transparent, industry led evaluation process to identify any surplus racing venues based around a statutory prescribed process (venue assessment criteria). This includes clear opportunities for consultation with industry stakeholders and Codes will be bound by the natural justice principles outlined above, to ensure a fair process is followed.

The intent behind the venue provisions in the Bill is that industry assets should continue to provide long term benefit for racing, whether that’s continuing as a racetrack, becoming a training facility, being developed for commercial benefit or selling it (which some incorrectly default to). Critically, the industry will be at the forefront of determining if a venue is not required for racing and then considering its alternate optimum use. In the event that the Code and the Club cannot reach an agreement, it is only then that the fall-back provisions of the Bill (which involve Ministerial decision making) come into play.

Racing Integrity Board

There has been significant discussion about the structure of  New Zealand racing’s integrity functions and performance over recent years, which is unsurprising given the paramount importance in ensuring there is confidence in the integrity of racing.

In undertaking a review of the structure and efficacy of the RIU and allied integrity bodies (as recommended by Mr Messara), Malcolm Burgess (who was commissioned by the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC)) engaged extensively with industry participants and administrators and with experts in the area of integrity - in New Zealand and Australia. His independent report made a number of recommendations, including the establishment of a new single governance Racing Integrity Board (RIB), which will be responsible for compliance and adjudicative functions. This recommendation has been adopted in the Bill and is one which  RITA supports (the combined structure is not unique in the New Zealand context). In order for the industry and punters to have confidence in the integrity of racing, independence from the industry is vital. Accordingly, in RITA’s view, an independent, streamlined model (as proposed in the Bill) can only be a good thing for racing.

While NZTR expresses concern that it will take a significant period of time to transition to the new RIB structure, RITA isn’t of the same view. Understandably it will take some effort  to bring two organisations together, however plans and preparations are well advanced to get this done professionally and in a timely fashion once the Bill is enacted. The Bill also specifically requires the new Board to ensure the compliance and adjudicative functions are performed independent of each other.

Major transaction

The Bill requires TAB NZ to obtain written Ministerial approval for a “partnering arrangement”. This is an arrangement which would provide for a substantial proportion of TAB NZ’s betting, broadcasting or gaming functions to be undertaken by another person.  Contrary to the NZTR note, RITA considers this clause is appropriate , given the significance of the TAB in New Zealand to not just racing but to all Kiwis. The TAB is a valuable, and arguably, the most important asset the industry has and therefore, it is understandable that the responsible Minister should make the final decision if such a significant transaction is proposed in relation to it. This is no different from similar arrangements overseas and provides clarity and ensures the process is robust. 

Governance 

NZTR has expressed reservations about the appointment process for the Board of TAB NZ. The Bill provides that the Minister will consider nominations from the Codes and Sports NZ and then appoint TAB NZ Board members. The Bill records that the Board members must have, collectively, specified skills.  

The MAC supported Code representation on the Board in its report, however, RITA considers the Bill’s “skills based” approach the most suitable alternative. It is clear from the skills set out in the Bill that any appointments would need to have significant experience in racing and betting, which should provide confidence to the industry that we will have a very capable and experienced Board leading TAB NZ.

Clause 56 of the Bill largely maintains the existing process where TAB NZ is required to establish and maintain a dates committee who will determine and allocate race dates among clubs (after undertaking consultation processes with the Codes). RITA considers it imperative that TAB NZ, as the wagering operator, retains oversight of the dates calender process. This is so it can ensure that the racing calendar is structured in a way to maximise TAB NZ wagering profits for the benefit of the wider industry (as it will be legally responsible for doing).

The current calendar process has, on balance, worked well and been refined annually based on input from the codes. Equally, the final calendar is the outcome of significant industry consultation, initially with the codes in its early development and then with the wider industry. By way of example, in the final round of consultation on the 2019/20 calendar there were only four submissions received, which would indicate a well-balanced process. 

In respect to Code representation on the Dates Committee, this has worked well previously and RITA would support the Codes nominating potential representatives to the Committee (for the TAB Board to then determine its membership). 

Racing Intellectual Property (IP)

NZTR has indicated strong opposition to the Bill’s position on IP. The Bill confirms that, within Australasia, TAB NZ will have exclusive rights to all IP associated with racing betting information, racing betting systems and any audio or visual content derived from a NZ race. 

It is essential that TAB NZ has uninhibited access and usage of racing IP in order to be able to monetise that IP effectively and thereby maximise its profits for the benefit of the racing industry, as the legislation intends. In simple terms, for the benefit of the industry, TAB NZ needs to be able to use racing IP to function effectively as a wagering operator. 

RITA/TAB NZ does not see the enactment of this provision as radically changing the status quo for clubs or Codes. RITA is using racing IP today to drive profits (for the benefit of the industry). RITA is also entering into arrangements with third parties (such as Tabcorp) which authorise the usage of that IP in exchange for the payment of fees, again for the benefit of the industry.  Other parties, including clubs and Codes, also use that racing IP. Race books and domestic Code website field lists are good examples of this. TAB NZ has no intention to constrain these types of activities and will ensure that industry players can use racing IP as they need to (subject to any contractual constraints restricting this). Vesting racing IP with TAB NZ does not mean that only TAB NZ will be able to use it; on the contrary TAB NZ expects industry players will continue to use racing IP as they do today for the promotion of the industry.

RITA has and will continue to discuss this provision with the Codes over the coming weeks to ensure there is a workable, mutual understanding of how this will be applied.  

Next Steps

Over the coming weeks we will meet with clubs, Racing Industry Organisations and other stakeholders to listen to the views of the industry on the Bill. 

While RITA was consulted in the development of the Bill,  this is the Government’s legislation and we will be providing a submission ourselves which we will share with you when complete. The RITA Board encourages clubs to participate in the Bill process; as we have indicated previously we believe this will be the final opportunity to get the reform that the industry needs in place. 

If you have questions you want to send us directly, please email us at industry.conversations@tab.co.nz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Things are looking up. More tax breaks for the industry. (Read: less money for the government). Where will they get extra money from once the betting levy rate reaches zero?

Maybe it will come from an ability to offer new products. I suspect this could lead to RITA establishing a chain of bakeries. They'll be able to sell sausage rolls and pies to NZTR cheaper than others, and then whatever profit (without having to pay income tax), will go back to the likes of NZTR for distribution (or to buy more sausage rolls and pies). Win win.

Edited by mardigras
  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Chief Stipe said:

The TAB is a valuable, and arguably, the most important asset the industry has and therefore, it is understandable that the responsible Minister should make the final decision if such a significant transaction is proposed in relation to it.

RITA are joking aren't they?  The NZTAB - "valuable"!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



×
×
  • Create New...