Day At The Track

Industry Conversations December 2017 Follow Up

11:07 AM 12 Jan 2018 NZDT
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John Allen
John Allen - NZRB CEO
NZ Racing Board

Thanks for joining us at our most recent New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) Industry Conversation series during December 2017.  We had a good number of people come along, with engaged and constructive discussions at all four events.

There were some common themes that came up across the board, showing a clear focus of interest for the industry no matter where you are, and in particular there were a number of discussions around clubs and racedays - how we can improve the on-course experience from betting to entertainment to facilities, and how we can make our operations ‘channel agnostic’ so that betting by people using mobile devices still benefits the club who has provided the core racing product.

We also talked about some of the recent developments at NZRB, including the new ‘racefields’ legislation currently at Select Committee and how much it is anticipated this will collect, and the Fixed Odds Betting platform and Customer & Channels programmes, our confidence in their delivery and the lifts in profit they will bring.

There were also some questions asked that we needed to come back to you on - these are provided below:

Has NZRB costed the financial benefit that the 'racefields' legislation will provide?

Yes, we estimate the new legislation will bring an additional $4.9 million in annualised net profit in 2017/18, rising to $8.9 million in 2018/19, and to $11.9 million for 2019/20.

Has NZRB met with the new Racing Minister as yet?

Yes, the Minister recently met with the NZRB Board in Auckland.  There was a positive and wide-ranging discussion and the NZRB reiterated their support to help implement the Minister's policy agenda as soon as possible. NZRB believes those policies will significantly enhance both the competitiveness and sustainability of the New Zealand racing industry.

Will NZRB consider returning TAB Trackside to Freeview?

We know this has not been a popular change, and while the decision was made for sound commercial reasons back in 2013, with the world and technology changing rapidly, as are people’s viewing habits, we are actively looking into what possibilities new technology now provides and how that could shape how we offer Trackside content in the future.

While there may be further consideration of returning to Freeview, it is not simply a binary choice between Sky and Freeview anymore due to the proliferation of digital delivery services (Amazon, Netflix, Apple TV etc).  NZRB has initiated a piece of work to determine its future content distribution strategy which will look at the benefits of making its content more widely accessible, to give customers more choice about how they interact with the content, and to allow the industry to have greater control over its own content on its own platforms (e.g. TAB and code websites and social media platforms). TAB Trackside 1 and 2 can be viewed via the TAB App or with a positive account balance.

Are we able to commingle Saturday night Harness racing?

NZRB maximises the opportunity to commingle whenever possible, however we are reliant on Tabcorp’s schedules and what NZ product they show to their Australian customers as to when we commingle - if they are not showing the product then we don’t commingle, and unfortunately Saturday night Harness is one of our products that usually falls into this category.

Why does NZRB still produce Best Bets when the Informant Form Guide is available?

We have a loyal customer base of around 1,500 purchasing Best Bets each week, so the requirement to produce this publication is largely customer driven.  We have recently changed to a new third party supplier for print and distribution which we anticipate will generate greater savings and efficiencies, and we are continuing to develop and improve the book to meet our customers’ betting information needs.

It was great to see you all in December.  I look forward to more conversations with industry during 2018.


Kind regards,


John Allen

Chief Executive Officer

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