Horseracing enters the digital era with the recent rollout by Philippine Racing Club, Inc. (PRCI) of a mobile payment platform that enables racing fans to place wagers on their smartphones.
PRCI Executive Vice President and COO Santiago Cualoping III said they released the Mobile Offtrack Betting Facility (MOTB) on Wednesday (Oct. 28) and noted the creation of over 1,000 new accounts within a few hours.
“The MOTB replaces the traditional United Tote system,” Cualoping said. The platform is convenient, intuitive, and easy to use, and allows payments through bank transfer (BDO, Union Bank) and G-cash.
Cualoping also said they have been scouting for new technology, but decided to invest all their resources in the MOTB after the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) announced the limited reopening of physical off-track betting stations, where there are no televisions, social distancing shall be observed, and patrons can only bet once.
“During this difficult time of COVID, we looked toward mobile solutions that bring convenience and, more importantly, the safety of our patrons by launching the mobile OTB,” he said.
PRCI’s mobile betting platform has been approved by the two government agencies overseeing horseracing: Philracom, that regulates the sport aspect, and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), that overlooks the betting component.
On Oct. 28, GAB Chairman Abraham Mitra wrote PRCI that “after the thorough testing and evaluation” conducted by GAB on the MOTB, GAB’s Board approved the use of the mobile betting platform on the win, forecast, trifecta, quartet, Daily Double Plus One, Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6, and Winner Take All pools.
For the application’s creation and support, the 83-year-old racetrack company partnered with Bizooku Philippines, Inc. to access the services of NorthAlley India Pvt. Ltd., an ISO-certified firm that provides totalizator services and solutions using the latest digital technology, including cloud computing and blockchain.
Cualoping said PRCI has utmost confidence in the MOTB system, as NorthAlley’s totalizator has operated on 100 percent uptime since its launch in 2017, serving six of India’s seven racing clubs.
He added that the pivot to digitalization is a strategy that the racing industry must implement in order to keep up with the world’s increased adoption of virtual solutions for all types of transactions.
“We need to disrupt the industry by injecting new technology,” Cualoping said. “We want to market to millennials and other untapped markets nationwide. The MOTB can reach them as well as racing aficionados based abroad, who have been asking for so long for a way to participate in their beloved Philippine races.”
He added: “I appreciate and respect the legacy of the racing industry, but we need to keep up with the times and open horseracing to completely new markets. If need be, PRCI will be the ‘sacrificial lamb’ to try and give our industry a boost. This is our long-term vision that will benefit all industry stakeholders.”
Sports fans can register for the MOTB at motb.prci.com.ph and follow PRCI’s Facebook page for more details.