New Zealand Stays Crown-Levies On Racing

Elouise Spencer - 21 May 2019

In and amidst all of the concerning happenings on the international front, there’s also good-news New Zealand. Government recently declared that for a period of 3 years, no levies on bets wagered in horse racing will be payable to the crown. The levies will instead be ploughed back into the local horse racing industry in order to make available a financial lifeline and boost.

The levies are calculated on 4% of the industry’s total profits. During the 2018 book-year, levies to the tune of $13.9 million were paid to government.

Decision Endorsed By The MAC

Racing Minister Winston Peters recently made the announcement. According to Minister Peters, the decision to plough the funds back into the industry was made on recommendation of the Messara review of the racing industry. The minister also confirmed that the recommendation was almost instantly signed into force and fully endorsed by the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC).

Minister Peters said that the no-hesitancy approach and attitude on the part of the MAC was the result of the committee having realised that the re-direction of the levies was necessary in order to breathe new life into the horse racing industry.

Bettors Will Benefit Too

The minister also confirmed that the funds would be distributed between New Zealand Sports and the various racing codes. A portion of the money, said the minister, would be allocated towards limiting gambling-related harm.

Minister Peters said that government was fully committed towards supporting the local racing industry in any which way possible as the industry played a large and vital role in the local economy.

The industry creates thousands of jobs each year, with many of the employees being younger adults. The minister also said that the re-allocation of the levies is but one of the changes being affected by government in an attempt to better support the racing industry. Statistics attest to the fact that the industry is a notable role-player in New Zealand’s economy. During the year 2016/2017, the industry contributed an estimated $1.6 billion to the local economy in the country.

When viewed from this perspective, government’s decision makes perfect sense all round and will most definitely be applauded by many.