Problem Gambling Foundation concerned by potential TAB takeover

Problem Gambling Foundation concerned by potential TAB takeover

In the face of increased overseas competition and rising costs, TAB looks set to be taken over by Entain - which owns betting behemoth Ladbrokes.

The announcement comes after a lengthy process to find an overseas betting agency to take over running the majority of the TAB’s operations.

Racing Minister Kieran McAnulty will still have the final say on whether any deal goes ahead on what would be a 25-year arrangement.

As the Government considers its decision, local anti-gambling groups say they want assurances Entain will be able to support TAB NZ’s existing harm minimisation and responsible gambling efforts.

Problem Gambling Foundation spokesperson Andree Froude told Tova O'Brien despite promises from Entain, the Problem Gambling Foundation has some concerns.

"They have already faced a raft of regulatory actions and fines for non-compliance in this area," Froude said.

"Last year, they were fined £17 million (NZ$33.7 million) for failures in harm minimisation and anti-money laundering. 

"According to the UK Gambling Commission, it is the second time they have fallen foul of regulations."

She told O'Brien the organisation could 'absolutely' have an impact on the gambling lobby in Aotearoa.

"We've seen that in other areas and the gambling industry is no different.

"We've seen it with alcohol and tobacco and there will be strong lobbying… while we operate with a very limited or largely unregulated online gambling environment they may be able to come into this market through this partnership with the TAB and it is really concerning."

Listen to the full interview between Problem Gambling Foundation spokesperson Andree Froude and Tova above.

You can also download the full interview on the Tova podcast, and listen on the go.

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