Tab NZ CEO Steps Down After Announcement Entain Deal

Tab NZ has announced the resignation of its CEO, Mike Tod, following the official approval by the New Zealand government of its new strategic partnership with Entain Plc.

In accordance with the agreement reached in March, Entain will provide support to Tab NZ in delivering betting and broadcasting services in the country for a duration of at least 25 years. With the government’s endorsement, the partnership took effect on 1 June. Tab NZ has stated that this collaboration will yield an immediate financial boost for the three racing codes and 38 national sporting organisations.

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Substantial Increase

Underpinned by this fresh agreement, the Tab NZ board has ensured a substantial increase in distributions to the Racing Codes over the next five years. The minimum level for the 2023/24 period will be NZ$170 million, representing a notable 36% rise from the current fiscal year. Subsequently, the figures will reach a total amount of NZ$175 million in 2024/25, NZ$180 million in 2025/26, NZ$185 million in 2026/27, and NZ$200 million in 2027/28.

Simultaneously, national sporting organisations will partake in a one-off funding boost of NZ$15 million, which will be disbursed over the next three years. Additionally, Sport NZ will receive a payment of NZ$500,000, specifically allocated for investments in women’s sport. Furthermore, a NZ$5 million initial commitment will be made towards the minimisation of gambling harm. This encompasses a NZ$4 million investment to expedite the implementation of facial recognition technology across 100 Tab venues, and a NZ$1 million research fund dedicated to providing grants for gambling harm research.

“We firmly believe that this 25-year strategic partnership will revolutionise sports betting in New Zealand. We are delighted that it will generate significant financial benefits for the three New Zealand racing codes and the diverse array of national sporting organisations.”

Dean Shannon, CEO of Entain Australia

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Tod’s Departure

Just after the confirmation of governmental approval, Tab NZ disclosed that Mike Tod will be stepping down from his role as CEO. Effective from 1 June, Nick Roberts will assume the position and concentrate on the transition process, leading Tab NZ into its future state.

The remaining statutory entity will adopt a streamlined operating model, focusing on Tab NZ’s retained functions. These encompass fulfilling legislative obligations, monitoring the regulatory and commercial performance of Entain, exploring new commercial prospects with the Entain Group, and collaborating with the government on reforms to New Zealand’s online gambling regulations.

“As general counsel and subsequently chief transition officer, Nick played a vital role in the team’s unwavering efforts to secure the strategic partnership with Entain,” stated Mark Stewart, Chairman of Tab NZ. “Retaining Nick’s commercial acumen and legal expertise, particularly his experience and profound understanding of the legislative landscape in New Zealand, the wagering ecosystem, and the contract underpinning the Entain agreement, will prove immensely valuable to the Tab NZ board, our regulators, and the stakeholders who rely on funding by Tab NZ.”

Roberts also stated, “We have successfully secured a transformative change in racing’s fortunes. It is now incumbent upon leaders across the racing industry to seize this opportunity and establish a sustainable operating model over the next five years, delivering customers a world-class product and experience. Our sporting partners are also poised to benefit from Entain’s investments in products and services, enabling key national sporting organisations to make substantial investments in participation and elite performance.”

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