Betting on NZ TAB is outlawed in Australia

Last updated 17:42 14/09/2017

Punters in Australia are no longer able to bet on the NZ TAB due to a law change.

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The New Zealand Racing Board may pursue a licence for the Australian betting market, after its customers across the ditch were banned from placing bets on the NZ TAB.

The Australian Government's new Interactive Gambling Amendment Act stops people in Australia betting with overseas bookmakers who don't have a licence in Australia and that includes the New Zealand betting agency, the TAB.

So as of Wednesday this week, people in Australia cannot place a bet with the NZ TAB and it means even a Kiwi who travels to Australia for a weekend can't bet on the NZ TAB once they are there.

The law change was intended to target illegal gambling, and has prevented overseas online casinos and poker sites operating, but bookmakers come under the legislation too.

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The New Zealand Racing Board, which runs the TAB, said the amendment means any offshore bookmakers not licensed in Australia can no longer take bets from anyone in Australia.

Spokeswoman Kate Richards said one possible avenue was for the TAB to get an Australian betting licence.

The board was aware of the legislation but initially didn't think it would be affected. Once it found the law change had a broader approach, it sought legal advice, but it ended up being included under those banned.

The time frame didn't allow for the Australian government to make an allowance for the TAB.

NZRB chief executive John Allen said it had contacted each accountant holder based in Australia. The number is estimated to be around 800 and they generate turnover of around $1 million a year.

He said the board was hopeful of engaging with the Australian government during the course of the next month.

"At the moment our focus has been on making sure we comply with their legislation and getting in touch with our customers and managing all the issues that are associated with that part of the process," he said.

Allen said the development would not affect commingling pools because the bill was not stopping Australians from betting into New Zealand racing, just betting through New Zealand accounts.

There are financial penalties in place for anyone who doesn't follow the law.

The TAB website will have geoblocking put in place in Australia, the same as in Singapore and the United States, two other countries where it is not allowed to operate.

Richards said the main thing for customers if they are going on holiday to Australia is to place their bets before they leave.

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