The Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) today advised New Zealand racing codes of forecasted funding in 2020/21 of $139.6m which is the same level as was budgeted for the 2019/2020 season before the impacts of COVID-19. This is despite fewer thoroughbred and harness races planned for the upcoming season.
RITA Executive Chair Dean McKenzie said the business and the Codes had responded swiftly to the impact of COVID-19 by taking decisive action to stabilise the industry and retain funding for next season at proposed 2019/20 levels. “Despite the significant impact of COVID-19 on the TAB’s business, major steps taken to reduce operating costs, the contributions from the repeal of the betting levy and the introduction of Betting Information User Charges, and crucially the Government’s support to kick-start the resumption of racing provided confidence for the RITA Board to approve the organisation’s budget and racing code funding for the forthcoming financial year at its meeting this week,” McKenzie said.
“The changes made to the TAB’s business, as well as the levies now passed into law through the passing of the Racing Industry Bill yesterday, will ensure the industry can start preparing for a new year of racing confident of positive stakes levels.” The funding estimate remains subject to confirmation of the 2020/21 Dates Calendar. Further details of the organisation’s budget will be provided in the organisation’s Statement of Intent which will be developed following the establishment of TAB NZ on 1 August 2020.