Entain Given 25-Year Responsibility for TAB New Zealand
Global land-based and online casino and sports betting behemoth Entain has secured a strategic 25-year arrangement that is to see it take over the running of TAB New Zealand from next month.
The London-listed firm first publicised the understanding in March and has since been waiting on the government of New Zealand to give its required approval, which was completed yesterday via a final thumbs up from the island nation’s Racing Minister, Kieran McAnulty.
Established in 2003, TAB New Zealand is the statutory monopoly responsible for sportsbook dealings in the country of almost 5.2 million people, including all horse racing betting and greyhound wagering activities.
As part of this arrangement, Isle of Man-based Entain has agreed through its Entain Australia enterprise to pay up to $159.3m (€147.6m) so as to start operating TAB New Zealand from the first day of June with the initial payment of some $98m (€90.8m) due before the end of the year.
The deal has also seen Entain promise to fund TAB New Zealand to the tune of at least $612.8m (€568.1m) between now and the summer of 2028, set aside cash for emergency mitigation, harm reduction and problem gambling programs and keep all of the operator’s 460 full-time workers employed for a minimum of 24 months.
Dean Shannon serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Entain Australia and he described his business as one ‘built on innovation and being customer focused’ that will now endeavor to ‘introduce a range of new world-class products, services and player safety tools’ for user of sports betting sites across New Zealand.
“We are delighted and honored to have received Ministerial approval to finalize the strategic partnering agreement between TAB New Zealand and Entain Australia,” Shannon said.
“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.”
London-listed Entain disclosed that the deal will moreover see 38 affiliated sporting organisations across New Zealand aggregately receive approximately $61.28m (€56.8m) in funding over the course of the next five years with groups behind the three most popular sports of rugby, basketball and soccer being the biggest winners.
Entain furthermore declared that this total disbursement could rise to as high as $122.6m (€113.6m) depending on overall TAB New Zealand sports betting handle although the country’s Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) games development enterprise is to be guaranteed a minimum of $9.37m (€5.3m) over three years.
Finally, the arrangement is to furthermore see the current Chief Executive Officer for TAB New Zealand, Mike Tod, resign from the first day of June to be replaced by Nick Roberts, who currently serves as the Auckland-headquartered operator’s general counsel.
Although he did not reveal any future personal plans, Tod did use a LinkedIn post to declare that the current Chief Commercial Officer for TAB New Zealand, Cameron Rodger, is to take over as the head of the new Entain New Zealand enterprise from the end of next week.
“Entain Australia will take over the core daily operations of TAB New Zealand on June 1 and our business will reduce to a smaller organization focused on its remaining legislative functions including monitoring the regulatory and commercial performance of Entain New Zealand,” Tod said.
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