ow is TPD changing the way people bet on horses? What are the benefits of using TPD’s technology for bookmakers?
The data we provide can completely transform the way operators offer horse racing to their customers. Using GNSS/GPS technology we are able to gather in-race data in real-time, and this in turn allows us to disseminate information on position, speed and split times. This clearly has a significant impact on the way operators can price in-play racing, which was, for a long time, the preserve of betting exchanges. Operators have long lacked the data to offer a tradeable in-play offer for racing in the same way they do for other sports, and our technology is changing that.
As well as being able to trade in-race, our data can also be used by operators to prompt customers into a bet. For some time now, operators have offered their customers all sorts of data on football matches as a way of informing and encouraging participation. That depth of data was not available for racing previously, but now it is, I see a similar opportunity to use it to grow racing revenues.
Back in January, you signed an agreement with a major Argentinian racecourse. How is that partnership evolving? Have you received interest from other racecourses in the wider Latin American region?
When we signed with Hipódromo Argentino de Palermo, we broke new ground by laying the foundations to roll out never-before-seen in-racedata from Argentinian racing. This technology has already had a significant impact on the way operators, customers and stakeholders interact with racing in the UK, and we are now also beginning this process in Latin America. Of course, Latin America is a hugely exciting region for the betting and gaming industry, and we are having many interesting discussions around how our technology can strengthen operator’s racing offering.
Financial pressures, fewer races and racecourse closures. How would you describe the current state of the horse racing industry and what would you say is the biggest threat to its survival?
It is no secret that horse racing has found itself losing market share to casino and other sports betting areas in recent years. Given its close relationship with betting, the biggest threat is stagnation from failing to react to those changes which have helped other sports steal away market share. Other sports, particularly football and tennis, have been able to reinvent themselves by moving with, and adapting to, new technologies, but horse racing has lacked the technological progress to do the same – until now.It is not just about interest from punters and bookmakers – jockeys and trainers have already responded enthusiastically to our technology, so there is undoubtedly an appetite for more data. My mission is to bring horse racing into the 21st century, and create a new product that benefits all horseracing.
What radical reforms are needed to protect the industry?
Considering the growth of in-play betting when it comes to other sports, especially football, a genuinely competitive and engaging in-play offering can help horse racing regaina larger market share within sports betting. I strongly believe that racing remains an inherently strong betting product with global appeal, but there is no denying that it has lost ground in recent years. Our technology lays the foundations for an informed and enjoyable in-play betting experience within the industry, something which can bring new people to racing and ensure existing customers have a much richer experience.