Tab’s new operator, Entain, appears to have breached the New Zealand Gambling Act within a week of receiving ministerial approval, according to Newsroom.
New Zealand is frequently targeted by online gambling sites, mostly from overseas. Advertising of overseas gambling is banned by section 16 of the Gambling Act 2003.
The breach is based on an email sent by Entain subsidiary, Party Casino, to a New Zealand customer on May 29.
According to Newsroom, he email advertisement began, “Hi ******, How about a fantastic sports betting offer?”
Gambling Insider has reached out to Entain for comment.
Due to the Gambling Act being two-decades-old, it is being viewed as no longer fit for purpose, giving the Department of Internal Affairs limited powers to address infringements from offshore providers.
Andrée Froude, a spokesperson for industry watchdog the Problem Gambling Foundation, said: “It is not legal for those offshore operators to be advertising to New Zealanders and we know that they do all sorts of things to get around our laws.”
On 23 May Racing Minister, Kieran McAnulty gave approval for Entain to take over Tab operations for 25 years, securing an investment of $900m for the New Zealand racing industry over five years.
When asked about Entain’s New Zealand advertising activities, McAnulty said: “When considering the partnership arrangement, I had been particularly aware of the harm minimisation requirements of that Act and I have been determined to make sure it is a good deal for harm minimisation.
“I am confident that Entain’s size and scale will allow Tab NZ to provide better harm minimisation than the status quo. I also note that the partnership will not prevent the Government from further regulation for harm minimisation and I have been clear with Tab NZ that I intend to do this.”
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