New Zealand Racing Board approves new fixed odds betting platform
15 May 2017
The investment will enhance NZRB's current fixed odds betting business to meet ever-increasing customer demand and enable NZRB to better compete with international wagering organisations.
"OpenBet will provide NZRB with access to a first-class FOB engine, used by many of the major wagering organisations across the world, and partner NZRB with an organization at the forefront of international wagering growth and innovation," says NZRB Chair Glenda Hughes.
"Both partner organizations have strengths in digital, sport and in-play wagering, which are three of the biggest growth opportunities for NZRB."
"The new FOB offering will complement our already competitive Tote, putting NZRB in a much stronger position to manage turnover across both products, taking into account customer and channel preferences," says Hughes.
The new FOB platform is one of a number of key strategic initiatives — the other initiatives include customer and channel improvements, race fields legislation, and a program to optimize the racing calendar — that will deliver a significant lift in annualized net profit per year to racing once fully implemented.
In April, NZRB signaled its confidence in the progress of these initiatives by announcing its commitment to deliver some of the future funding increase from these initiatives ahead of full implementation. It will do this by providing an additional $24 million over the next two years to enhance participation and investment in racing. This will be specifically targeted at lifting stakes across the three racing codes. The Board also introduced the $4.77 million of Industry Enhancement Funds over two and a half years to support stakes, infrastructure and youth development.
"This will see distributions to the industry increased to a minimum of $148.2 million in 2017/18 and 2018/19 from the current baseline, in anticipation of the future financial benefits of NZRB's key strategic work currently underway," says CEO John Allen.
The business case approval comes after a detailed design phase undertaken with OpenBet and further discussions with Paddy Power Betfair, who won the opportunity to partner with NZRB for this phase following a competitive RFP process in 2016. At the completion of that phase, a full business case was presented for approval to the Board.
NZRB and OpenBet will now begin planning the implementation phase which will include infrastructure design and detailed change impact assessments. The new platform is expected to be fully integrated into NZRB for the 18/19 season.
Matt Davey, CEO of NYX Gaming Group, commented, "We are focused on working with NZRB to develop a best-in-class technology that delivers a great player experience. We are honored to be selected from what was a highly competitive tender process and excited for the project ahead of us."
A representative from Paddy Power added, "We are delighted to be chosen to partner the NZRB and look forward to developing a world-class sports and racing product that will deliver a modern and innovative customer experience to the New Zealand public. We believe that the partnership will deliver long term value for each of the racing codes and sporting bodies across New Zealand through the leveraging of our world class product and systems."