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New Zealand – Entain’s strategic partnership with TAB New Zealand receives Government approval

By - 23 May 2023

Entain’s strategic partnership with TAB New Zealand has received approval from the New Zealand Minister for Racing.

As announced on 28 March 2023, the 25-year strategic partnership terms include a total consideration payable by Entain and an ongoing gross profit share arrangement.

Subject to conditions of completion, the strategic partnership is expected to commence on 1 June 2023.

Dean Shannon, CEO of Entain Australia, comments: “We are delighted and honoured to have received Ministerial approval to finalise the strategic partnering agreement between TAB NZ and Entain Australia.

“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.”

“Entain is a business built on innovation and being customer focused and we look forward to connecting further with the great team at TAB NZ to introduce a range of new world class products, services and player safety tools to the loyal TAB NZ customer base.”

TAB NZ Chairman Mark Stewart MNZM added: “Entain is a world-class operator with the expertise and financial strength to transform our business and in turn boost the long-term fortunes of racing and sport as well as the communities that rely upon their success.  Furthermore, Entain has guaranteed the jobs of our 460 staff for at least two years.  This is a great vote of confidence in our people,” Mark Stewart says.

“Today’s approval delivers on a key recommendation from the Messara Report (2018) and we are thrilled that the Minister for Racing has approved the strategic partnering arrangement. TAB NZ is at a critical point in its history due to unprecedented competition from unregulated overseas operators and current global economic headwinds.”

Mr Stewart paid tribute to the TAB NZ Board, Chief Executive Officer Mike Tod and the Executive Leadership Team for delivering a transformational strategic partnering arrangement.

“I am incredibly proud of what management and the Board have delivered to transform this business and the fortunes of those who rely upon its success.  We are a small company at the bottom of the world in a David v Goliath battle in New Zealand’s unregulated online gambling market. To have secured Entain as our partner to grow the returns to racing and sport is an awesome achievement.”

Chief Executive Officer Mike Tod will step away from leading TAB NZ, which will reduce to a smaller organisation focused on its remaining legislative functions – including monitoring the regulatory and commercial performance of Entain New Zealand. TAB NZ Chief Transition Officer Nick Roberts has been appointed to lead TAB NZ in its new form as CEO. Current TAB NZ Chief Commercial Officer Cameron Rodger will become the Managing Director – New Zealand for Entain.

“Mike has done an incredible job of transforming TAB NZ since he took over as CEO at the beginning of last year.  He has implemented and executed a strategy that has delivered the partnering arrangement with Entain, grown customer numbers to record levels, implemented world-first new products, lifted customer satisfaction and staff engagement scores to their highest levels in over a decade and assembled one of the best leadership teams in the industry. Our racing and sporting stakeholders are set to benefit from an outstanding legacy that he leaves.”

The strategic partnering arrangement will also provide increased funding to National Sporting Organisations and Sport NZ from business growth, as well as immediate funding boosts. National Sporting Organisations will share in a one-off funding uplift of $15m to be paid over the next three years, while a $500,000 payment will be made to Sport NZ, ring-fenced for investment in women’s sport.

TAB NZ is also delighted to confirm a $5 million upfront commitment to harm minimisation in the form of a $4m investment to dramatically accelerate the rollout of facial recognition technology to 100 TAB Venues; and the establishment of a $1m research fund to provide grants for research into gambling harm.

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