Seems like we’re finally going to allow Stupid Tax on foreigners

Our archaic gambling laws mean that our NZ dollars are going offshore, and overseas profits currently can’t be captured here. ?But that may change this year.

Offshore betting has exploded – the number of New Zealanders placing bets offshore has more than doubled in the past five years to over 40,000 and that growth is expected to continue – but it’s the overseas bookmakers who reap the benefits.

The New Zealand racing industry is the biggest loser from offshore betting – both through New Zealanders placing bets with mainly Australian corporate bookmakers and bookmakers taking bets on New Zealand race meetings and sporting events.

Last year $329 million was bet on New Zealand thoroughbred racing through Australian totalisator operators – much higher than what was bet through the New Zealand Racing Board.

It’s idiotic not to get a slice of that action. ? ?

Thoroughbred Racing chief executive Greg Purcell said the racing industry in New Zealand sees none of the money.

“Australian corporate bookmakers aren’t paying us any money and are free-riding on our product. All we want is a fair go and a fair fee for payment.”

Racing Board chief executive John Allen said under New Zealand’s gambling regime, money bet here goes back into racing and sport and is also used to reduce problem gambling.

But that doesn’t happen with money bet offshore.

“The real reason that it matters is because the way in which the New Zealand racing and sports industries, or gambling, is set up in our country is that the profits from gambling go back to racing and sport.

So what will change?

With $300m bet with Australian corporate bookmakers on New Zealand sport and racing last year, and about $58m bet by New Zealanders offshore, Racing Minister Nathan Guy said if a levy was introduced, New Zealand stood to recover millions.

“Potentially if we could bring in legislation and it was enforceable that could mean that we could recoup around $16 million.

“That money therefore flows back through to racing and sports communities up and down the country and we know that there’s a huge benefit from that because it helps to underpin a lot of regional economies throughout New Zealand.”

Seems like a no-brainer. ? If people want to gamble their money away, especially those overseas, we might as well take our cut….except it would be impossible to implement.

How does Nathan Guy propose to charge this levy?

Will he bill the offshore gambling sites? Can’t see that working out too well.

Will he start monitoring the internet and send the levy invoice directly to the ISP who will pass it on to their customer? Can’t see that working either.

This is a classic case of a media outlet taking a press release and not bothering to ask the simple but glaring questions that need to be asked of an idiot minister who opened his gob in the hope of filling some column inches in the quiet political holidays.

The only way to recover those lost millions offshore is to remove the monopoly of the TAB, and introduce NZ-based competition. Watch the TAB fight that tooth and nail.