Entain Set to Secure Deal for New Zealand Sports Betting

Robert Longthorpe - Senior Writer
Robert Longthorpe
05 April 2023 in News
Entain to take over NZ Sports Betting scene

Although we may not discuss it as much as the real money no deposit casino world, sports betting is a massive passtime in New Zealand. Entain, the international gaming giant, will soon become the sports betting monopoly in New Zealand. The company has emerged victorious after several years of battle to take over the monopoly NZ Tab has enjoyed so far in New Zealand. However, NZ gambling regulators have to first give the green signal to ensure it complies with the new casino legislation.

Ministerial Approval Required

Entain, which already owns the internationally acclaimed brands Neds, Ladbrokes, and others, will soon add NZ Tab to its list of acquisitions. Entain and NZ Tab signed the acquisition deal on March 27, 2023, but the agreement requires the signature of Kieran McAnulty, the NZ racing minister.

An Australian Financial Review report says that Entain is the favoured applicant for the sports betting license among applicants like Tabcorp and Sportsbet. But Entain’s NZ sports betting license requires ministerial approval, and the company expects to receive this approval by the end of March.

Bright Future for NZ Sports Betting

Although NZ Tab enjoys a monopoly over sports betting, greyhound betting, and horse betting in New Zealand, it has failed to generate the expected revenue in the last few years. Its failure to generate revenue forced it to seek the help of other companies because it did not want Kiwi bettors to play at unlicensed offshore online sportsbooks.

The biggest operators in the industry plunged into the battle to take over NZ Tab, with Entain in the lead. The company made many bold promises to become the favoured applicant, and now that it has succeeded, it has to keep those promises.

Entain Makes Bold Promises

Since Entain has promised to inject capital of NZ$1 billion into the flailing NZ racing industry in the five years to follow, the NZ betting industry has a bright future. The company is silent about the value of the acquisition deal, but NZ Tab has revealed a few clues about the amount of money Entain has promised to inject into the industry.

The presence of Entain guarantees a boost in racing revenue in New Zealand. NZ Tab and Entain emphasize that the arrival of the company in the country will boost the potential for immense economic benefits throughout the term of the agreement.

Entain has promised to provide NZ$10 million in sponsorship funds to host local community programs and encourage racing festivals. Entain Australia CEO Dean Shannon refers to the company’s decision as an opportunity to shape the betting experiences of NZ players and to support the Kiwi sporting and racing industry.

Deal to Strengthen NZ Gaming Industry

NZ Tab was up to its neck in trouble when it decided to sign an acquisition deal with Entain. The company has now pinned its hopes on Entain. NZ Tab is aware of its incapability of handling challenges like increased costs, heightened costs, and capital restraints.

It claims that its partnership with Entain will ensure that the Kiwi sports betting and racing industry will receive adequate capital for its growth and development.

Entain in the Spotlight

Now that Entain has succeeded in acquiring NZ Tab, it has to keep its promises. It is no longer possible for companies to break promises and blame it on changing political and economic conditions. Now that gaming regulators are keeping an eye on operators all the time, operators have to keep their word.

The NZ racing minister will ensure that Entain will keep its promises if he signs the takeover deal. Entain is now duty-bound to inject the required capital to boost the NZ racing and sports industry and keep the 450 employees of NZ Tab employed for the following two years.

Entain also has to comply with responsible gambling and anti-money laundering laws, something it has failed to do in the UK. Entain had to pay the UK Gambling Commission a record fine of US$21 million in August 2022 for failing to comply with UK anti-money laundering and responsible gambling laws.

NZ Sports Betting Scene Set to Change in 2024

Currently, the NZ government is mulling over the pros and cons of implementing geoblocking legislation to discourage offshore sports betting sites. If Kiwi lawmakers approve these new laws, Entain will have to support the government and help to keep offshore sportsbooks out of the country.

However, this is not likely to happen till 2024.

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