Entain is officially ready to receive the keys to New Zealand Tab (Tab NZ). The global gaming company needed one final approval to take over, which it received when Racing Minister Kieran McAnulty gave his thumbs up on Tuesday.
Before giving his approval, McAnulty made it clear that in order to do so, a series of commitments needed to be made. Among the most crucial of these was the assurance that not a single job would be lost.
To secure this, the 460 full-time employees at Tab NZ were to be guaranteed job security for a minimum of two years. Entain agreed, although that doesn’t mean Tab didn’t lose any employees.
A New Face at the Races
New Zealand’s racing and sporting market has been granted an NZD150 million (US$93.72 million) bonus that will be distributed among the 38 national sports organizations (NSOs) that have an agreement with Tab. The noteworthy winner in this deal is Game Code, which will receive NZD15 million (US$9.37 million) over three years.
The recent deal is set to yield substantial rewards for New Zealand’s various sports segments, including soccer, basketball and rugby. These three are seen as the frontrunners to receive the most benefits since they’re the most popular options with bettors.
Of the massive bonus for the sports organizations, NZD100 million (US$62.48 million) will be dispersed over the next five years, with the possibility that the amount could increase to NZD200 million (US$124.96 million), depending on the overall sports betting handle.
A percentage of the funds will go to harm reduction and problem gambling programs. In addition, some of the money will become reserve funds in case of emergency.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, competitions and games were postponed, which left Tab NZ with minimal funds. It served as a lesson for the organization to appreciate the significance of maintaining reserves, something it previously didn’t do.
Tab NZ has been facing challenges with the loss of New Zealand customers and revenue to foreign betting companies. With high hopes for the boost in expertise and experience, the entity aims to tackle the poaching issue. This drain on New Zealand’s races and sports sees an estimated loss of over NZD150 million in revenue annually, according to Tab NZ figures.
Entain, which will control Tab NZ for the next 25 years, will keep the Tab NZ brand. It’s going to have to move quickly to prepare, as it is supposed to take over the operations as of June 1.
Tab NZ Loses CEO
Entain agreed not to reduce the current workforce at Tab NZ, which it has done. However, this doesn’t mean that there will be zero personnel changes. CEO Mike Tod is going to resign as soon as Entain officially begins on June 1.
Taking over for him will be Nick Roberts, currently Tab NZ’s general counsel. In a statement about the change, Tab NZ board chairman Mark Stewart called him the perfect option, as he was fundamental in negotiating the deal with Entain.
Tod said in a LinkedIn post that Cameron Rodger, the current chief commercial officer of Tab NZ and a former member of the New Zealand Racing Board, will take over as the head of Entain New Zealand. Tod didn’t specify what he plans on doing after his departure.
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