The high cost of horse racing media to betting shops is causing bookmakers to look for cheaper sources of racing content. Aiming to meet that need are the suppliers of racing visualisation and simulation technology.
Two such suppliers are Quantum Leap Solutions and Reality Races, providing “real-time, animated versions of actual horse races”. The technology simulates live horse racing using the in-running prices from betting exchanges. The fluctuations on the in-running price on the exchanges dictate the position of the horses as they race.
Quantum Leap Solutions describes the catalyst for the development of the service and how they approached it:
Faced with a need to replace the live video of races with something to illustrate to their customers how their bets were doing in-running Coral approached us to work through what the options were.
We could use GPS tracking to power a 3D live simulation of the race. OK. So we built a 3D live simulation based on GPS tracking, only for the rights holders to withdraw the tracking data. What if we replicate the GPS tracking data by collecting positioning data visually in real-time? OK. So we built a live simulation powered by visually collected positioning data. Only for the rights holders to suggest it infringed their rights. OK. What if we power the simulation based on moves in the in-running market to edit in real-time our pre-race simulation of the race? Will that work? Think so. Give it a go. So we did and it does.
The bookies will no doubt be wanting this service in their betting shop to reduce overheads, after the implementation of the £2 stake limit on FOBTs.
GBGC believes this to be a great innovation for online and mobile services but installing it as a total replacement to live racing in betting shops maybe too much to ask. However, if a bookmaker has a shop with little local competition, or where most customers are not inclined to bet on horseracing, or a younger demographic weaned on computer games, it could work.
Consider the following scenario: the FOBT restricted stake is implemented and a bookmaker has a lease with three years to run with the landlord. Closure of the shop is going to happen, so why not save up to £40,000 a year and have the simulated service? At least the bookmaker would be rid of the contractual obligation of SIS and costs are contained over the run-down period.
Necessity is the mother of invention.