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Legal & RegulatoryIndustry

New Zealand plans to levy foreign bookies

The

newzealandhaka
New Zealand government has gone ahead with its plan to levy foreign bookies, according to local press.

The Racing Amendment Bill, introduced to Parliament last Monday, would require international bookmakers to pay an information charge and a consumption levy when taking bets on New Zealand racing and sporting events.

The size of the levies hasn’t been set out yet, but foreign bookies could be fined up to NZ$50,000 if they failed to pay up.

This legislation follows a report carried out by a government working group which estimated that NZ$45m (US$33.4m) in revenue was being lost through offshore betting. This new tax would be earmarked for supporting the local racing and sports industries.

Despite the popular support, the Department of Internal Affairs, which monitors the gaming and racing industries, advised caution and states that most of the lost revenue could be recovered by voluntary compliance. Speaking to the local media, the former Internal Affairs policy manager Steven Waldergrave said in a public statement that the collection of the charges "would rely on voluntary compliance from offshore operators" given the extraterritorial issues.

Currently, New Zealand has fairly strict legislation: foreign bookies are not allowed to advertise their services in New Zealand, where the New Zealand Racing Board's (NZRB's) TAB holds a marketing monopoly. However, there is nothing to prevent them from taking online bets from New Zealanders.

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