Kiwis can now take a punt on of New Zealand’s favourite sports – sailing. Yachting New Zealand and the NZ Racing Board (TAB) have done a deal to allow betting on the outcome of yacht races.
The statement issued by Yachting New Zealand reads:
Yachting New Zealand has reached an agreement with the New Zealand Racing Board which allows the Board (TAB) to conduct betting on yachting.
Many major New Zealand sports have allowed betting for some time, and this is sanctioned under section 5 of the Racing Act 2003.
Yachting New Zealand’s Chief Executive Des Brennan says, ‘Most sports funding is sourced from gaming activity, and when Yachting New Zealand sought the views of members last year, we found that there was little strong opinion against the move.’
While it is not foreseen that funding from betting will be a major source of income, it is hoped that it will be a useful one. It is also hoped that any promotion of events carried out by the TAB will increase the visibility of yachting and increase interest in its principal regattas.
While gambling has some downsides, New Zeland law requires that a percentage of the revenue has to be returned to the sport. It’s a move that widens the gap further between the professional and commercial players and those that support the corinthian spirit, but ultimately brings the sport to a wider audience.