RITA was counting on a 2019/20 net profit of $165.8 million – but did they expect being nobbled by a virus?

According to a Stuff report:  New Zealand might be in lockdown but at a time when problem gamblers are at their most vulnerable, the TAB and online gambling sites are open for business.

Might be in lockdown?

We wonder where sports writer Mat Kermand was when he wrote that sentence as a prelude to a somewhat huffy article about taking bets not being listed as an essential service.

Kermand noted that under level four of the Covid-19 scale – which says “only businesses absolutely essential to ensure the necessities of life”  can operate – the TAB can trade online because it can run its business with staff working remotely during the Coronavirus outbreak.

He went on:

Lotto is also available online only and overseas gambling and gaming websites are not restricted by New Zealand law despite it not being illegal for Kiwis to use them.

PGF Services entered the narrative with spokesperson Andree Froude calling on all online gambling services to step up their host responsibility, because (apparently) the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis off work, unable to leave home, with excess spare time on their hands, will be to blow whatever money they can struggle to find in these straitened times. Continue reading “RITA was counting on a 2019/20 net profit of $165.8 million – but did they expect being nobbled by a virus?”

Racing industry put money on NZ First but Peters has yet to come home a winner

Can Winston Peters revive  the   NZ   racing  industry?

Last  year  he famously said: “I’ve got no interest in being the Minister of Racing presiding over a dead horse.”  But  many  within  the  industry fear  that   unless  he  moves  swiftly,  the animal,  despite  its staying  power over the  decades,  will  indeed  expire.

The Deputy Prime Minister last year commissioned John Messara, described as a top administrator and stud owner in Australia, to review the NZ industry, which has been ailing  for the past decade.

After he  received  the report  last August, Peters noted Messara’s  warning  that thoroughbred horse racing “is at a tipping point of irreparable damage” and declared:

“My  intention is to have officials produce a Cabinet paper with a set of recommendations for decision. While it is too early to say what Cabinet will agree upon, the severity of the situation means the status quo is unlikely to prevail.It’s reform or die, there’s no off-course substitute”. Continue reading “Racing industry put money on NZ First but Peters has yet to come home a winner”