Server failure at Tabcorp in Australia causes millions in loss

Server failure at Tabcorp in Australia

Once again we are reporting here on not-too-good news from abroad. This time the media in Australia reported that the Australian lottery and betting provider Tabcorp suffered losses in the millions due to a server failure.

To be more precise, important technology, i.e. computer systems from Tabcorp, failed last Saturday and paralyzed lottery and betting offers. Tipper could not access the totalizer. This is so fatal because practically the entire horse betting industry depends on it. The system was offline for more than a full day, 27 hours in total. Only then was it possible to place bets again.

What are totalizator bets? A totaliser bet is more of a form of offer than a type of bet. It differs from the classic bookmaker bet primarily in the system and the provider structure. A totalizator bet is only valid for the organization of racing and horse breeding clubs, is closely tied to the racecourse in terms of location and content and the organizer is the manager of the betting pool. The betting odds are variable and the total in the betting pool is only determined after the betting deadline.

Bad timing for technology fail

If the technology doesn’t work, it’s usually never good. Particularly unfortunate, however, was the timing of the computer system failure at Tabcorp. It was precisely on the weekend when the last race day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival 2020 and the Golden Gift Day 2020, both very important races, took place in Melbourne, that the technology-related loss of millions occurred. The loss is estimated at around 100 million AUD, that’s around 61.27 million euros.

Tabcorp Holdings Limited (“Tabcorp” for short) is an Australian provider of lotteries, sports betting, horse betting and has a kind of monopoly in Australia. Tabcorp is also the sole provider of totalizer bets for horse betting.

Not only Tabcorp itself and its customers were negatively affected by the system failure. Since the TAB system is also networked with other providers, the data transfer to Ladbrokes Australia was also disrupted.

This incident clearly shows that there is no benefit in having so many providers dependent on a single information system. As a result, betting odds could simply no longer be offered. So it is really time that changes were made here.

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