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TAB NZ is set to undergo significant changes after CEO Mike Tod stepped down following government approval of a new 25-year strategic partnership with Entain.

Nick Roberts, who currently serves as TAB NZ’s chief transition officer, will assume the role of CEO starting from 1 June.

Cameron Rodger, TAB NZ’s chief commercial officer, will become the new CEO of Entain New Zealand.

The deal between Entain and TAB New Zealand, which has now been approved by the New Zealand Minister for Racing, is also set to begin on 1 June.

The partnership, initially announced in March, will see Entain assume responsibility for the majority of TAB NZ’s day-to-day operations.

Tod had previously highlighted the challenges faced by TAB NZ in competing with international wagering operators due to limited capital.

As part of the agreement, Entain has committed to a payment of NZ$260m, with NZ$160m payable in 2023.

This, along with an ongoing gross profit share, is expected to provide TAB NZ with minimum guaranteed funding of more than NZ$1bn in the first five years.

Tod joined TAB NZ at the beginning of 2022 with the goal of transforming the business and forming a partnership with an international wagering operator.

The new TAB NZ

Following the transition, TAB NZ will shift its focus to fulfilling its legislative obligations, overseeing Entain’s regulatory and commercial performance, exploring further business opportunities with Entain, and collaborating with the government on reforms to online gambling laws in New Zealand.

On LinkedIn, Tod expressed his pride in Roberts and Rodger, referring to them fondly as “The Weapons” and commending their appointments, which should ensure job security for TAB NZ’s 460 employees.

Elsewhere, TAB NZ chairman Mark Stewart praised new CEO Roberts for his contribution to securing the strategic partnership with Entain.

“The retention of Nick’s commercial acumen and legal skills, particularly his experience and deep knowledge of the legislative settings in NZ, the wagering ecosystem, and the contract that underpins the Entain arrangement will prove extremely valuable to the TAB NZ board, our regulators and indeed the stakeholders that rely on TAB NZ funding,” he said.

Entain Australia CEO Dean Shannon believes the 25-year arrangement “will be a game-changer for sports betting in New Zealand” while benefiting the racing codes and national sporting organisations financially.

He added: “Entain is a business built on innovation and being customer focused and we look forward to connecting further with the great team at TAB NZ to introduce a range of new world class products, services and player safety tools to the loyal TAB NZ customer base.”

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