The New Zealand TAB initiated the world’s first Government-run totalisator betting service in 1951. The TAB (totalisation agency board) is run by the New Zealand Racing board and controls all of New Zealand’s horse, greyhound and sports gambling. They have branches set up all over New Zealand as well as at all race meets. In 1996 it added fixed odds betting to its horse and greyhound gambling options, when the TAB began sports betting.
The three racing sports that New Zealanders bet on before fixed odds Sports betting was made legal were;
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (gallops)
Harness Racing New Zealand (trotting and pacing)
New Zealand Greyhound Racing (greyhounds)
Now over 26 sports are covered with sports from all over the world, including baseball, rugby, football, golf, tennis and cricket to shearing.
In 2003 when the New Zealand racing board was set up it conducted a survey the found out that racing;
Generates some 1.3% of New Zealand’s gdp – around $1.5bn per year
Creates some 18,300 full time jobs, generating more than $679m in salaries and wages. That’s the figure, measured in “full time equivalents”
Generates more than $130m in export sales of horses
Holds more than 780 race meetings a year, attended by more than 1.04m customers.
Since 1994 when the Christchurch Casino opened the government has given out 6 licences to companies for legalised Casinos to operate in New Zealand. At this stage the NZ government will not be issuing any more licenses. The Casinos are located in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin and two in Queenstown.
It is no surprise that all of the casinos are flourishing and they are returning some of there profit to the community through sponsorship and grants to charities.
The Casinos have also opened the way for pubs/bars and sports clubs around New Zealand to place “pokies” (electronic gambling machines) in their establishments. A large amount of the profit off these “pokies” is given back to the community through government grants and sponsorships given out by the sports club or pub/bar.
With the increased in gambling it is of no surprise to anyone that there has been an increased level in gambling related crime and illness. This is the price you have to pay to bring the many jobs and money to the communities that have gambling establishments near them.
New Zealand has embraced casino gambling with both hands and if you can control your emotion and that feeling to bet just a little bit more, it can be a fun way of having a bet and a nice meal.