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Racing Policy

We administer the Racing Portfolio and our Policy Group provides policy advice to the Minister for Racing on related matters.

The Ministerial portfolio of Internal Affairs is also relevant to racing, especially with respect to the wider gaming industry. See
Gaming Policy.


Racing Act 2003

On 1 August 2003, the Racing Act 2003 came into force. The Act:
Copies of the Racing Act available

The Racing Act 2003 is available to the public. Copies can be bought from Bennetts Government bookshops, it is available online at www.legislation.govt.nz or it can be viewed, printed or downloaded by clicking on the .pdf link below.
  • Racing Act 2003 (4.7m) To read or print a pdf document you need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download this program free from the Adobe site.

Other Relevant Legislation

Other relevant legislation includes the
Gambling Act 2003, the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977, the Casino Control Act 1990, the Gaming Duties Act 1971, the GST Act 1985, the Income Tax Act 1994 and the Financial Transactions Reporting Act 1996.


Key Racing Industry Groups

Racing Industry Statutory Bodies
The
Racing Act 2003 governs two statutory bodies (the New Zealand Racing Board and the Judicial Control Authority). It also confers varying degrees of recognition on a wide range of other industry organisations.

New Zealand Racing Board
The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) has a dual role as both the industry's main policy body and as the provider of race and sports betting.

It has a statutory responsibility to develop policies that are conducive to the economic development of the racing industry and the economic well-being of those who derive their livelihoods from racing.

The key functions of the NZRB include:
  • To determine the racing calendar each year.
  • To conduct on-course and off-course racing betting and sports betting, and make rules relating to betting.
  • To distribute funds obtained from betting to the racing codes.
  • To administer the racing judicial system.
  • To develop or implement (or arrange for) programmes for the purposes of reducing problem gambling and minimising the effects of that gambling.
  • To undertake (or arrange for) research, development and education for the benefit of New Zealand racing.
The NZRB retains the TAB brand for race and sports betting, and inherits a wide network of retail outlets.

NZRB membership
The NZRB governing body consists of seven members, appointed by the Minister, as follows:
  • An independent chairperson appointed after consultation with the racing industry.
  • One person appointed on the nomination of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Incorporated.
  • One person appointed on the nomination of Harness Racing New Zealand Incorporated.
  • One person appointed on the nomination of the New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association Incorporated).
  • Three persons appointed on the advice of a nomination advisory panel.
On 19 June 2003, the Minister for Racing announced the appointment of Warren Larsen as the independent chairperson of the inaugural board, and Murray Acklin, Jim Wakefield and Thayne Green as the code-nominated members.

On 1 August 2003, the Minister announced the appointment of Julie Crengle, Alan Jackson and Anne Urlwin as the three independent members appointed on the advice of the nomination advisory panel.

Judicial Control Authority (JCA)
The JCA, established in 1996, appoints all judicial panels for harness and thoroughbred race meetings, as well as judicial panels to hear non-raceday enquiries relating to the rules of racing (horse ownership issues, racehorse doping, etc). It also appoints tribunals to hear raceday and non-raceday appeals. (Greyhound judicial panels are appointed in accordance with the rules of greyhound racing).


Recognised Industry Organisations

Racing Codes
The governing bodies of racing are
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Incorporated (formerly the New Zealand Racing Conference), Harness Racing New Zealand Incorporated and the New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association (Incorporated). The code governing bodies are responsible for the rules of racing, and for the registration of all racing participants human, equine and canine. Only those owners, trainers, jockeys, drivers, horses and greyhounds that are licensed by the relevant racing code may participate in the industry.

Racing Clubs—Galloping, Harness and Greyhound
Racing clubs are permitted to run race meetings in accordance with the racing codes' rules of racing, and pursuant to betting licences issued by the NZRB. Racing clubs are generally incorporated societies.

Other Recognised Industry Organisations
Aside from the NZRB, JCA and the racing code governing bodies, the Racing Act 2003 confers recognition on the following industry organisations:

The New Zealand Racehorse Owners' Federation, the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, the New Zealand Trainers' Association, the New Zealand Jockeys' Association, the New Zealand Standardbred Breeders' Association, and the New Zealand Harness Racing Trainers' and Drivers' Association.

These organisations represent the interests of various industry participants.


Race Betting and Sports Betting

Betting turnover
The table below shows race and sports betting turnover for the past six years. A number of key trends are visible:
  • On-course race betting turnover has declined significantly, maintaining a downward trend from a peak of $210m in 1988 to $74.8m in 2002. Adjusting for inflation would accentuate the decline.
  • Off-course race betting turnover has maintained steady growth, as a result of increased opportunities to bet on overseas racing. Local off-course turnover has declined by 15.5% since 1997, while overseas turnover now acounts almost a third of total off-course race betting turnover.
  • Sports betting turnover has grown rapidly since its introduction in 1996. It totalled $105m in 2002, accounting for 9.5% of the TAB's total turnover.
T.A.B. Betting Turnover (actual dollars, not inflation adjusted) 1996/1997 to 2001/2002
1997
$m
1998
$m
1999
$m
2000
$m
2001
$m
2002
$m
OFF-COURSE
New Zealand
Galloping
Harness
Greyhound
470.2
247.6
82.2
800.0
453.0
236.6
80.4
770.0
424.5
231.1
87.2
742.8
410.7
229.5
86.4
726.6
388.1
223.6
87.5
699.2
373.6
214.2
88.0
675.8
Overseas
Galloping
Harness
Greyhound
157.9
18.6
0.0
176.5
194.3
18.0
0.0
212.3
213.5
19.0
0.0
232.5
248.3
16.4
0.3
265.0
254.8
26.3
0.2
281.3
276.2
32.5
0.6
309.3
6 pack / pick 6
Galloping
4.0
3.6
4.2
2.9
3.2
4.2
Harness
7.7
8.4
8.0
10.9
9.4
9.2
Greyhound
5.6
5.3
4.3
3.4
2.4
1.4
17.3
17.3
16.5
17.2
15.0
14.8
fixed-odds
1.8
2.6
3.0
2.6
2.7
2.6
Total Racing
995.6
1,002.2
994.8
1,011.4
998.2
1,002.5
SPORT
fixed-odds
32.9
49.3
57.0
62.0
63.5
102.2
totalisator
0.9
0.7
4.2
4.5
3.5
2.7
Total Sport
33.8
50.0
61.2
66.5
67.0
104.9
TOTAL T.A.B.
TURNOVER
1,029.4
1,052.2
1,056.0
1,077.9
1,065.2
1,107.4

ON-COURSE TURNOVER
Galloping
60.2
58.1
55.1
50.4
48.2
46.6
Harness
37.1
34.0
31.0
26.8
26.4
25.3
Greyhound
4.0
3.7
3.2
3.4
3.1
2.9
101.3
95.8
89.3
80.6
77.7
74.8

Some gaming definitions:
Expenditure: (gross profit) is the gross amount wagered minus the total amount paid out or credited as prizes or dividends.
Turnover: is the total (gross) amount wagered by punters. It includes a 'churn' factor (reinvestment), which means that the same dollar is counted more than once.

Retail network for race and sports betting
The NZRB provides on-course services to 131 racing clubs at 65 racing venues.
Off-course betting is available through 577 TAB retail outlets throughout New Zealand. This comprises 448 sub-agencies (pub and club outlets), including 109 self-service terminals, and 129 dedicated TAB agencies. The TAB has 110,000 active telephone betting account holders, and over 15,000 Internet betting account holders.

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Last updated: 03/10/2003