Punters left without their payouts

TAB's worst outage in 20 years could cost over $300,000

On Friday February 17, the TAB has its worst computer outage in 20 years, costing an estimated $320,000 in lost turnover.

Half the system ground to a halt. Operators could take bets but couldn’t pay out and results couldn’t be posted.

TAB computer staff worked from 8.30pm till 3am to try to find the fault. They weren’t able to post results till after the first race on Saturday, at midday.

There was then another glitch, where the “next race” betting option kept reverting to race one at a meeting. That was soon resolved.

NZ Racing Board chief executive Graeme Hansen says the problem was eventually tracked to a unique sequence of events.

“The software was upgraded a few months ago and had been fine. We had to take action around a trifecta the day before, and when a certain sequence occurred on the Friday night, an illogical step took place, linked to the Thursday problem, causing the crash.

“It was the most serious problem we’ve had in 20 years.”

Hansen points out that the TAB has one of the best uptime records of any computer system in New Zealand.

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