Racing Reform Bill - Progress

The Racing Reform Bill has now entered its third reading in parliament and is, in the main, receiving cross-party support. 

What is the bill about?

The Messara Report was commissioned in April 2018 to look at the status of the thoroughbred racing industry in New Zealand and provide recommendations for possible reform of the industry.

The Racing Reform Bill is the first of two law-making responses that would put into effect some of the report’s key proposals. These proposals would drive the changes needed to build a sustainable future for the racing industry.
What does the bill mean?

The bill seeks to amend the Racing Act 2003 and the Gaming Duties Act 1971 to bring into effect a period of transition and various financial changes to the industry.
The bill aims to do this by:


The New Zealand Racing Board will change to the Racing Industry Transition Agency Board (RITA). RITA will be responsible for managing change in the industry and for its everyday functions, as the industry moves through its one-year transition period to a financially sustainable future.

Offshore betting

The bill would allow for the collecting of revenue from overseas betting operators that provide betting services to people living in New Zealand.

Phased totalisator duty repeal

The totalisator duty will progressively reduce over a three-year period. At the end of the period, it will look to repeal the requirement to pay the totalisator duty.

Makes changes to the distribution of racing and sports revenue

The bill would remove distribution formulas for the racing industry and minimum payments formulas for New Zealand national sporting bodies. The bill would allow for both to be determined by regulations.

Sports betting

The bill would permit relevant sporting bodies to offer betting products on sports not represented by a domestic national sporting organisation. This change will help New Zealand’s racing industry to offer betting on a wider range of sports.

Who might the bill affect?

The New Zealand racing industry
The New Zealand Racing Board
National and international betting operators
Sports totalisator agencies
National sporting organisations
People who use betting facilities

What happens next?

The bill was introduced to the House on 21 May 2019 and was referred to the Transport and Infrastructure Committee.

Read what the select committee said about the bill in its report.
Please check the progress bar below to see which stage the bill is currently at.

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