PAYOUTS PROBED

The Agency board has taken several steps to address concerns of its customers about significant differences between Win and Place dividends displayed at the start of a race and final official payouts.

The Agency board has taken several steps to address concerns of its customers about significant differences between Win and Place dividends displayed at the start of a race and final official payouts.

These include doing pool updates more frequently, commissioning an independent audit and ensuring that a major overseas customer bets earlier.

The TAB recently completed a thorough investigation into the differences between dividends at the start of a race and the final official payouts.

Phumelela and Gold Circle are satisfied that no bets are being placed into pools after the close of a race, but in order to further reassure customers independent experts are being commissioned to carry out an audit.

In general, the differences between payouts at the start of a race and the final official dividends are caused by the increasing volume of overseas bets taken just before the off into Win and Place pools on South African races.

Overseas bets currently comprise more than 30percent of Win and Place pools, but can be as high as 65percent on a single horse in a race.

Big amounts are bet in the last few seconds and thus payouts shown at the start of a race can change significantly when the betting system does a final scan that incorporates the final bets.

All overseas totes joining into TAB pools now transmit final betting data within 30 seconds of a pool closing. The only exception is Australia, which delivers final data 55 seconds after pools close.

In order to limit the magnitude of the fluctuations, TAB's tote system has since January 18 been updating pools every 20 seconds.

The TAB investigation has revealed that many of the major fluctuations in tote payouts result from last-minute bets taken by a single international customer. TAB has now taken steps to ensure his bets are placed earlier.

Horseracing and tote betting operators Phumelela and Gold Circle are fully aware that the integrity of TAB's system is paramount to horseracing and all of the sport's participants.

Consequently, all controls in respect of betting are constantly monitored and Phumelela and Gold Circle will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure TAB retains the confidence of its customers.

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