The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) will provide an additional $24 million over the coming two years to increase stakes and enhance participation and investment in the racing industry.

“The Board is confident that the key strategic initiatives NZRB is progressing - the fixed odds betting platform, customer and channel improvements, racefields legislation, and the optimise the calendar programme - will deliver a significant lift in annualised Net Profit per year to racing once fully implemented,” says Chair Glenda Hughes.

“However, we recognise that more urgent financial assistance is needed by the industry, which is why we are committing to deliver some of this future increase early, ahead of full implementation,” says Ms Hughes.

“This will see distributions to the industry increased to a minimum of $148.2 million in 2017/18 and 2018/19 from the current baseline, in anticipation of the future financial benefits of NZRB’s key strategic work currently underway,” says CEO John Allen.

The additional $24 million will be specifically targeted at lifting stakes across the three racing codes.

“This reflects recent steps taken by all three racing Codes to lift stakes - there is clear alignment across the industry on where we need to be focused and we are working closely with the Codes to provide greater support to the entire racing industry,” says Mr Allen.

“This additional funding will enable all industry participants to have greater confidence in the successful future of our industry,” he said.

This step is also on top of the $4.77 million Industry Enhancement Fund initiatives announced in January to support stakes, infrastructure and youth development.

“We have a clear focus on the projects we are delivering, good progress is being made and we are taking action to continue to lift returns to the industry over the coming two years while the benefits of our strategic initiatives are being brought to fruition,” says Ms Hughes.