LightsOut

Is John Allen trying to get a gig on Dancing With The Stars ...

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one would think so with so much spinning going on in the media.

From an interview with John Allen (Published in The Informant and written by Brian De Lore)

TAB figures received this week that included only domestic betting on local thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing showed a decline overall on all comparative meetings held in 2018 (conveniently not including overseas racing which isn't comparative meeting number wise with over 100 more meeting held in the first 3 weeks).

Taking into account 37 thoroughbred, harness and greyhound meetings held between the FOB launch date of January 7 and February 4, the comparative turnover between 2018 and 2019 was down from $35,516,051 to $31,690,153, a drop of $3,825,898 which equates to an average of $103,403 per meeting or 10.8 per cent per meeting (throw in another $6,000,000 for those 3 weeks down in overseas racing which well included in NZ turnover is down just over 10%.which is in line with the % decrease in NZ Racing for that period)

Predictably, Racing Minister Winston Peters didn’t respond to a request for a chat this week, it being the week of Waitangi Day celebrations and only three weeks from his receiving an interim report from MAC (Ministerial Advisory Committee).

But NZRB CEO John Allen was agreeable on Waitangi Day and was happy to offer his explanation about the decline in turnover.

“We did expect an early downturn of somewhere between six and eight weeks as a consequence of the change to the FOB platform and that’s based on the experience Sportsbet had for the system we have just put in,” Allen said. (Sportsbet don't have the same system as the NZRB they are only online John your Company is online and agencies and outlets). 

“We expect that will go on for at least the next couple of weeks. We are going to see both volatility in financial performance and a decline in turnover and that’s why getting some ‘sighters’ on the early performance of the sports betting is really positive.” ( what exactly is the early performance in sports betting John? so your saying yield and turnover is both up?)

Broader examination of turnover figures shows a decline in TAB betting from the start of the season. Solely on domestic betting on horses and greyhounds from August 1 compared to the previous season, the figures show a decline from $235,945,862 to $230,158,414 which is about $5.8 million less than last year.

 

When suggested to Allen that the NZRB would struggle to meet its budget for the end of the season he responded by saying, “I haven’t changed my view since the forecasts of the last annual report and I haven’t changed my view with what’s happened in the first four weeks of the platform.

“Our expectation for next season is that we will be able to continue to distribute the $12 million that we have in each of the past two years and we will be able to increase distributions beyond that, but it depends on some clear signaling around key components like racefields and the POC (Point of Consumption) tax, because while we still expect (spent $50 million and only expect?) the FOB platform to perform, that only gives us an additional $17 to $19 million income and not the more substantial sums we expected before racefields begins to flow (the additional $17,000,000 will pay for the fees and services to Paddy Power & Open Bet).  

“We haven’t had racefields this season but our expectation is that our profit will be below our initial expectation but above what we had last year. I haven’t seen the January result yet or seen the exact impact FOB has had on it, but I wouldn’t expect any lessening of distribution to the codes. In fact I would expect increases.” (Don't forget the doubling of your customers to help pay for the Platform)

“The challenge is racing on the tote side. We need to get more of them actively betting – that’s the challenge and we have strategies in place for that.” (the challenge has always been to be trying to attract more turnover) 

When passing on some of the comments from disappointed punters at the usability of the new FOB platform, such as jockey challenges and jockeys’ premierships not now being available for multi-betting, and lack of information including no race stakes, no comprehensive results page, deletion of jockey and driver stats, slowness of the site, constant clicking and scrolling to find your race or horse, no jockey, trainer or track information for last Saturday’s Wingatui meeting, and many other moans and groans, Allen didn’t baulk at supplying the answer.

“It’s early days and there is lots of things about the platform that require users to change their behaviour in the way in which they do things but overall we are very comfortable with where we are after a month,” he countered.(those missing components above in the new Betting Platform are basic customer requirements to bet on your product, honestly who designed the system. You have needed to listen to your customers on simple betting requirements needed from day 1. You can't get it right from the get go and you expect your customers to stay loyal come on. Who advised you because they obviously are clueless on betting matters).

“We have seen growth in our sports activities over the month but I’d have to say the margins in sports haven’t been that flash as a result of the outcomes of some tennis and games of that kind but we are very pleased with the sports side (above you say that’s why getting some ‘sighters’ on the early performance of the sports betting is really positive now your saying margins were not flash??).   – the challenge is racing on the tote side. We need to get more of them actively betting – that’s the challenge and we have strategies in place for that.”

Allen would not confirm or deny (not been very transparent there so guess we know how to read into that one) the return on early FOB figures but it’s believed to be as low as three per cent initially instead of the expected eight to nine per cent

The tennis he referred to was a match or matches where live betting occurred during a delayed telecast and at least one punter, but possibly several, had a time advantage on the result and placed winning bets, one of which is said to have won $50,000 on a single wager.

“It’s true that when we set up the system in terms of the amount of time we were providing, we weren’t quite where we needed to be,” (so you rushed it to make it look as though you were not behind and as such loop holes existed) explained Allen, “so yes, there was a very short period when there was one or two punters who had an advantage on us in terms of the outcome of a particular bet, but that has now been fixed.”

Allen would neither confirm nor deny (lot of neither confirming or denying going on which is a worry its an interview about a Betting Platform not murder for #$ks sake, i suppose you could also think it means d "i have no idea") that it included single bet which resulted in a payout of $50,000. But finding out where this industry is heading financially in the long term was a more important question.

“We’ve had a challenge on turnover through this financial year and we have talked about that publicly,” he continued. “With the launch of the new platform and the need for people to get used to it, that has exacerbated the situation in the month of January but what we have seen is that with managing costs well through the year, and as a consequence of that, we have been able to get practically right on our forecast number for December year to date. (turnover figures are right on forecast ??? that's a worry that you budgeted to be millions behind) 

“In January I would expect our profit number to take a bit of a hit because of the problems we have just talked about with transitioning our customers (eg now betting overseas). But overall, I am still confident that in the first full year of operation, which will be from the start of next season, we will see an increased profit of between $17 million and $19 million.(good luck to that)

“That’s what we have always said and there is nothing that we have seen that would suggest it will not be the case.” (you survive on turnover get your head out of the sand) 

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He  says "Requires users to change their behavior", I did John, I closed my account last week after 30 years.

I went and saw him at his road show a couple of years ago and he was standing shaking his arm looking like a schoolboy about to piss his pants in front of the seven people that turned up. Definitely not CEO material. 

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Since closing my account I have noticed on the TAB Dashboard on my phone that my account is still alive, just locked, and it can be unlocked at any stage. Is this done so John can fudge the figures of how many accounts have been closed? 

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John John John John John

No No No No No as the great man would say (Gould not Allen)

If turnover was down this Dec Jan , with hardly any abandonments, up against a myriad last year which caused a hole in turnover , I'd say your fledgling Industry is in Schtook , and you deserve everything coming your way , and it ain't gonna be good 

 

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