Entain chosen as partner to acquire management rights to New Zealand’s sports betting monopoly

The Australian Financial Review reported Entain was expected to have offered the highest bid, although its proposal will be clouded by investigations launched by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre into potential breaches of anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing regulations.

Former Racing NSW chairman John Messara

The semi-privatization in New Zealand follows a review run by former Racing NSW chairman John Messara, an ex-stockbroker who operates the Arrowfield Stud north of Sydney, which recommended significant changes to how the industry in New Zealand operates. The Messara report was commissioned in April 2018 by the then-New Zealand racing minister Winston Peters.

It concluded that, “due to its lack of scale, [TAB NZ] will not be capable of providing a best-in-market offer to meet its customer needs, as it will be unable to sustain the level of ongoing capital investment required to remain competitive with other international wagering operators of scale.”