Most gambling companies, bookmakers, offer their services to countries all over the world freely, by obeying pre-set licensing requirements or restricting there offering based on gambling laws in the country – such examples being Spain, Denmark and Italy.
Until now New Zealand has been pretty much a “free” country to operate within and companies have not really faced much opposition when attracting customers through local marketing on TV and other media or online, even after Australia’s introduction of new laws and requirements that resulted in global giants bet365 opening an office in Darwin.
However, the New Zealand government has made large steps towards changing this freedom of operations and recently, specifically last Monday, the Racing Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament which indicates a requirement to international companies, again more specifically bookmakers, to pay varying charges when they would take bets on New Zealand based sporting events.
There have been whispers about these sorts of changes, or something like the legislation that Australia introduced a few years ago, but nothing ever really developed from it and New Zealand remained open without issues.
A recent report estimated that around €28,000,000 ($50,000 NZ) has been ‘lost’ through sports betting with offshore companies. The new charges, better to be stated as taxes, would look to offer financial support and stability to the local NZ racing and sports industries that would benefit from taxes being paid from bets placed internationally on their hosted events.
Across NZ, there are areas that have a held marketing monopoly from the NZRB TAB and such areas are immune from the advertising powers of international companies in anyway, however, customers residing in those areas can still place bets with the companies regardless of any other extenuating marketing control or existence.
There’s a lot of work to do with this aspect of changes that are due to come in – although under no timescale to have these in place for or when the companies may have to begin paying said taxes, the Department of Internal Affairs has advise caution and stated that whilst most of the lost income could be regained through voluntary compliance by the applicable companies, it does therefore rely on such companies volunteering to comply without the need for the bill making it a law to pay taxes on the sporting events.