ONLINE SPORTS BETTING TO BE REVIEWED IN NEW ZEALAND
The New Zealand government has expressed concerns about the activities of offshore online sports betting operators and has tasked a new working group with a review of the situation, perhaps as a prelude to a crackdown.
The New Zealand Herald reports that Racing Minister Nathan Guy, concerned that online sports betting may be depriving the local racing industry of critical income by competing with the TAB monopoly, thus denying the government potential tax revenues, has named former National MP Chris Tremain as the chairman of the working group.
Tremain was Minister of Internal Affairs until he left Parliament last year.
The membership of the working group appears to be weighted toward racing, with no sports betting nominees. Other members include Racing Board chief executive John Allen, Sport New Zealand chair Sir Paul Collins, Thoroughbred New Zealand representative Greg McCarthy and two Internal Affairs officials.
Minister Guy said this week that the TAB monopoly on racing and sports betting required the Racing Board to distribute profits back into the racing industry.
This was being undercut by increased use of online betting with overseas agencies, especially in Australia.
"This means offshore organisations make money on New Zealand racing and sports without paying their fair share of tax, or making contributions back to the racing industry or sporting organisations that make the betting possible in the first place," he said.
The minister noted that online sports betting was a growing trend internationally, and that other countries had introduced regulatory regimes.
The racing industry has raised concerns at the impact of online sports betting, claiming that it undermines both investment and employment prospects in the industry.
The review will determine to what extent New Zealand punters use online sports betting, and will examine claims that offshore operators are not subject to the same stringent responsible gambling rules as those complied with by the TAB, leading to an increased risk of under-age or problem gambling.
The working group is required to submit its recommendations to government by September this year.
SPORTRADAR TO CARRY GERMAN HANDBALL DATA
Online sports betting content firm Sportradar has acquired the exclusive eight year rights to collect and distribute official German Handball League data to its betting industry and media clients following a partnership agreement signed last week.
The Sportradar agreement covers both the first and second divisions of the HBL, along with the DHB Cup, the Super Cup and the annual All-Star Game competitions.
As part of the agreement, Sportradar will furnish HBL with its Live Sports Centre product, a content visualisation tool with extensive live statistics which can be customised and implemented on all team websites.
The data company has also undertaken to develop an HBL mobile application for data visualisation across smartphones and tablets.
In a press statement this week, Sportradar m.d. for sports data and licensing, Johannes Ranke, said:
Handball is one of the most popular sports in Germany and I am very excited about the collaboration between Sportradar and the HBL for the coming years. It will be a great opportunity to develop cutting-edge data products and services and help to increase the awareness of the HBL and handball around Europe and the world.
BELGIAN ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATOR ABOUT TO CHANGE HANDS
Dutch media are reporting the imminent sale of Mieke Michiels' Belgian-licensed Napoleon Gaming land and online gambling group to Waterland, a Dutch private equity company, for an unknown consideration.
Napoleon brands include the land Casino Knokke, through which the company obtained an internet gambling licence in the hard-nosed Belgian online gambling market.
Michiels' online interests embrace casino and sportsbetting operations, and the company sponsors AA Ghent, a Belgian football club, along with the Sunweb professional cycling team.
The transaction is timely, with the Dutch government gearing up for liberalised online gambling regulation later this year (see previous InfoPowa reports).
Through the deal Waterland, which additionally holds gambling assets in Germany and the Netherlands, also gains the rights to operate 23 gambling venues across Belgium.