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Betting levy repealed in NZ to boost racing industry

New Zealand’s Racing Minister Winston Peters has announced a repeal of the betting levy paid by the racing industry to the Crown.

Peters confirmed in a pre-Budget announcement that payment of the levy to the government will be phased out over a three-year period, with freed-up funds to be redirected to racing and sports.

In 2018, income from the levy amounted to NZ$13.9m (€8.1m), representing 4% of overall betting profit in the country.

“Redirecting the betting levy is a step towards revitalising of the racing industry. It was a recommendation of the Messara review of the racing industry, and was endorsed by the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC),” Peters said.

John Messara is a former Racing Australia and Racing NSW chairman, who was asked to review the NZ industry in what is called “Messara Report’ as the result.

“The racing industry plays a vital role in the New Zealand economy, having contributed $1.6 billion to the economy in 2016/17 whilst employing tens of thousands of New Zealanders, many of them young, and boosting New Zealand’s exports,” added Peters, who is also New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister.

The move comes after the New Zealand government last month also announced the introduction of two new pieces of legislation to revitalise the country’s horse racing sector, with a point of consumption tax to be levied on offshore bookmakers for the first time.

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