New Zealand Commerce Commission approves horse and greyhound pools comingling

The Commerce Commission of New Zealand has cleared the way for the New Zealand Racing Board to comingle totalisator horse and greyhound race betting pools with Australia’s Tabcorp.

The authorisation granted Tuesday includes restrictions on the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) and Tabcorp’s take-out rates from commingled pools, as well as the rebates or commissions payable to high volume customers.

Explaining its decision, the Commerce Commission said that while the provisions of the proposed comingling agreement lessen competition, “the reduction in competition is likely to be outweighed by the public benefits”.

It also noted that the commission did not receive any submissions in opposition to its draft decision to grant authorisation to the NZRB.

“In reaching our decision we found that there are public benefits to combining the respective betting pools such as the NZRB being able to offer New Zealand residents more Australian races. Customers can also benefit from having higher value pools,” said Commerce Commission chair Dr Mark Berry.

“We found the detriment is limited and only confined to a small number of customers engaged in high volume betting.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has already authorised Tabcorp to enter into international commingling arrangements with overseas wagering operators including the NZRB.

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