TAB awards contract for new betting system

28-year-old incumbent system will be replaced by new package

Australian company Media and Gaming Pty Ltd has won a contract to replace the TAB’s ageing Jetbet system with its proprietary wagering system Typhoon by December 2010.

New Zealand Racing Board chief executive Andrew Brown says the new betting engine will enable the organisation to drive revenue growth for the racing industry and grow its contribution to GDP beyond the current 1.3%.

He says the existing Jetbet system is very old and is holding the business back. “Jetbet is nearly 28 years old, which is ancient in technology terms. 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.”

Brown says Typhoon will provide the following 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.

· The 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. It is a $5 million investment in a system that will enable strong growth for the next 10-15 years,” he says.

“Payment will be spread out over the course of the project and will depreciate over the next 5-10 years, which means the annualised cost to the business will be more than compensated for by the benefits the new system will deliver.”

Typhoon will 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, he says.

Media and Gaming managing director Nicholas Plowman says the deal between the two organisations will result in a commercial and technology based partnership, which will ensure the NZ Racing Board to take a market- leading position in an increasingly competitive global entertainment market.

Typhoon runs on low-cost, commercial off-the-shelf server hardware. It uses configurations specifically chosen to optimise its performance in each particular application domain.

It runs on Linux and is written entirely in Java.

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