The UK’s Entain Group has announced that it has received final approval to take over control of New Zealand TAB, a major move that is projected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for horse racing and sport.
Kieran McAnulty, the Racing Minister of New Zealand, announced on Tuesday that Entain, one of the world’s largest online sports betting companies, will take over the running of New Zealand’s only racing and sports betting operator for 25 years.
The new agreement between Entain Australia and the New Zealand government is expected to commence on June 1st of this year.
McAnulty says he believes the deal will “reverse falling revenues” for racing and provide certainty over the coming years.
McAnulty insisted on several assurances prior to approving the deal, foremost among these that there be no New Zealand job losses – a guarantee now in place for all 460 full-time TAB employees, who will remain employed for the next two years.
New Zealand’s racing and sporting codes have landed a major bonus, with NZD$150 million ($94 million) set to be split among the 38 National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) that have agreements with TAB.
The new partnership will include a ‘include a total consideration payable by Entain and an ongoing gross profit share arrangement’, Entain noted in a press release on Tuesday.
Speaking of the approval, Entain Australia CEO, Dean Shannon, noted that “We believe this 25-year strategic partnering arrangement will be a game-changer for sports betting in New Zealand and we are pleased that it will help provide significant financial benefits to the three New Zealand racing codes and the vast array of national sporting organisations.”