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Hold all tickets: Aussie takeover of TAB on the cards

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Giant Australian gambling companies are poised to take over the TAB’s role in New Zealand if a report into the racing industry is adopted by the Government reports Mark Jennings for Newsroom.

The report, commissioned by Racing Minister Winston Peters, and kept secret from racing industry leaders, is due to be released tonight at a public meeting in Hamilton.

Sources familiar with the contents of the report says it recommends that race betting in New Zealand be outsourced to an Australian company, effectively meaning the end of the TAB.

The TAB turns over more than a billion dollars in race bets and returns a total of about $150 million annually to the racing codes – gallops, harness racing and greyhounds.

The racing industry has been struggling for years with inadequate stake money and NZ First leader, Winston Peters is its local champion.

NZ First has received considerable backing from key figures in the racing industry and the Deputy Prime Minister has long promised to lift the industry out of the doldrums.

Peters brought in wealthy Australian stud owner and racing guru John Messara to review the long-term sustainability of . . . . . . >