The enhanced site, first announced in 2017 as a response to falling market share, will offer cash-out for the first time as well as an improved in-play betting service, more international and local markets and streaming coverage.
TAB owner New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) described the new site as a “game-changer” for sports betting in New Zealand, estimating it will deliver a NZ$30m (€17.6m/$20.4m) increase in net betting profit from 2021/22.
“This is the dawn of a new era for the NZRB and for New Zealand betting customers as we deliver a more compelling betting experience and significantly enhancing the number of betting opportunities we can offer,” says NZRB chief executive John Allen.
“We’ve replaced our existing website and app with a responsive, modern and easy-to-navigate site that delivers more products and events.
“The new platform will also be a game-changer for our core business, improving business stability and continuity and by moving a number of core functions managed by our old system Jetbet, into a new platform provided by Openbet it gives us the flexibility to set our own odds on events where our local expertise outpaces the PaddyPower options.”
TAB has a notional monopoly on sports betting in the country, however its failure to prevent punters seeking out offshore rivals led to it announcing plans to enhance the site back in 2017.
The updated TAB service was due to be ready by August 2018, but launch was postponed due to extensive testing. The site closed entirely for business between Sunday evening and Monday morning in preparation for the launch of the new system, website and mobile app.
Last July it was estimated that the project would cost NZ$37-39m in total, with the NZRB estimating that it would take 3.3 years of the revamped TAB being live to recoup these costs.
Allen said the contribution of partners OpenBet and PaddyPower Betfair ensured TAB would be more competitive and therefore increase returns to the racing industry.
He said: “What they have done is ensure the New Zealand TAB, a significant and valuable industry asset, can now compete with the rest of the world, increase our revenue and in turn, our distributions back to racing and sport.”