The New Zealand Racing Board is to install a new, state-of-the-art Australian-designed betting system called Typhoon to replace the TAB’s ageing Jetbet system by December 2010, chief exec Andrew Brown announced this week.
Brown claimed that the new betting engine would enable the organisation to drive revenue growth for the racing industry and grow its contribution to GDP beyond the current 1.3 percent.
“Jetbet is nearly 28 years old, which is ancient in technology terms,” Brown commented. “It was launched in January 1982 – the same year as the Commodore 64 computer.
“The move to a new system is long overdue and I’m delighted that we’re building a platform from which we can launch so many more products and services quickly and efficiently.
“Typhoon enables us to be much more agile and responsive in meeting our needs and those of our customers,” he added.
Expanding on the new system, Brown detailed its advantages:
* More betting events, including more race meetings and sports betting options. (The TAB cannot offer betting on some major international races because of the limitations of Jetbet).
* Better customer service and easier processing of bets – benefitting the TAB’s agents and customers.
* Greater real time visibility and reporting that will enable improved management of any problem gambling issues.
* Improved systems for better decision making by the NZ Racing Board management through real time reporting.
* Ability to introduce new products and enhance existing ones much more quickly and efficiently.
“We’ve done lots of research worldwide and this is the best and most cost-effective solution,” said Brown. “It is a NZ$5 million investment in a system that will enable strong growth for the next 10-15 years.”
The Racing Board chief said that along with a fast and reliable service, Typhoon would significantly improve the TAB’s capacity to compete against offshore operators, who return nothing to New Zealand racing or sports or to the New Zealand economy.
Typhoon is a product of Media and Gaming, an Australian company. Managing director Nicholas Plowman said the deal between the two organisations will result in a commercial and technology based partnership, which will ensure the NZ Racing Board can take a market leading position in an increasingly competitive global entertainment market.
Plowman said Typhoon will enable the NZRB to respond to customer demand and will help grow new revenues for the racing codes, clubs and New Zealand sport.
Typhoon was designed and developed by father and son team, Arnold and Greg Kopff. Arnold was a member of the 1975 team which created the world’s first sell-pay totalisator system. In 2006 he partnered with Media and Gaming to commercialise the system, which recently won the AIIA 2009 iAward for Innovation.