by Divina Paredes

NZ Racing Board takes $2.7B betting business to the cloud

Jan 26, 2017
Big DataCareersCloud Computing

By removing the complex ICT environment from our day-to-day operation, we are now free to focus on gaining a greater understanding of customers’ needs than ever before.John Allen, NZ Racing Board

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) has recently completed the major phase of a two-part data centre migration, reports Spark NZ.

NZRB processes more than 1.2 billion bets, each contributing to $2.7 billion in financial turnover annually. It was critical to ensure NZRB’s wagering platform Jetbet was faultlessly migrated to its new home at Spark’s data centres.

“Jetbet was at risk every day in its former home in Petone as our data centre [was] no longer fit for purpose,” says John Allen, CEO at NZRB, in a statement.

“This concern was further heightened by recent earthquakes affecting our region.

“If a major disaster were to occur, it was likely our current datacentre would fail, all corporate and wagering systems would be down and the impact to our industry and our customers would be significant, even if just for a short time.”

Spark says it started working with NZRB in late 2014 on a digital transformation programme that includes redesigning and modernising its ICT set-up.

The work also covers outsourced networking, cloud computing, security and IT service management via its data centres at the Takanini and Revera’s Trentham sites.

Spark transition experts become virtual members of the NZRB team, and moved into NZRB’s Wellington offices in Petone.

“It’s important to credit the combined team’s close relationship in delivering the migration activity almost seamlessly,” says Allen. “Spearheaded by our former General Manager Technology, Colin Philp (now CEO at IntegrationWorks), getting to this stage, having capably weathered a few challenges along the way, demonstrates how effective the partnership has been between the two organisations.”

Colin Philp

The transfer of NZRB’s main systems to Spark’s Revera cloud platforms ensures that capacity can be safely dialled-up or down for the busiest race days, such as the Melbourne Cup and other major sporting events.

“The growth of Fixed Odds Betting isn’t slowing and our (often international) competitors are offering around 100,000 options compared to our 2,500 each day,” says Allen. “By removing the complex ICT environment from our day-to-day operation, we are now free to focus on gaining a greater understanding of customers’ needs than ever before.”

Robin Hartendorp , Spark’s General Manager Central Government, says the NZRB transformation programme is an example of how the cloud can be used to support seasonal business.

As we can all appreciate, the demands on our betting industry services are enormous during days like the Melbourne Cup when everyone wants a piece of the action.”

“As customers like NZRB seek to find the optimal run state for their work loads, Spark through its ability to aggregate and manage hybrid cloud supply, is able to meet the constant technology and capacity changes that modern digital environments require.”

Send news tips and comments to

Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz

Sign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.

Join us on Facebook.