Singapore Pools to take over horse-betting operations

Daily horse-racing operations and the Turf Club in Kranji will remain under the Singapore Turf Club, while betting functions will be run by Singapore Pools.
Daily horse-racing operations and the Turf Club in Kranji will remain under the Singapore Turf Club, while betting functions will be run by Singapore Pools.ST FILE PHOTO

Tote Board Group says move will streamline functions and allow Singapore Turf Club to focus on horse racing

Hot on the heels of recent cost-cutting measures, Singapore Pools will take over all horse-betting operations from the Singapore Turf Club from Jan 7.

The Straits Times understands that the move will not lead to a loss of jobs, and that about 80 of the staff involved in Singapore Turf Club's betting operations will be transferred to Singapore Pools.

The Tote Board Group said yesterday that the move is part of a regular review of its business operations and aimed at achieving synergies and improving cost efficiencies.

It will streamline operations and allow the consolidation of IT systems, product channels and customer care for Singapore Pools.

"Singapore Turf Club will focus on its core competency in ma-naging and providing high-quality horse racing," said the group, which comprises the Tote Board and wholly owned subsidiaries Singapore Turf Club and Singa-pore Pools.

Daily horse-racing operations and the Turf Club in Kranji will remain under the Singapore Turf Club, and only betting functions will be run by Singapore Pools.

These include the betting outlets at the Singapore Racecourse and all off-course betting centres, said the Tote Board Group, announcing the move yesterday. There will also be no change in game and payout structure, and punters can continue to place bets at existing retail and remote channels for horse betting.

Singapore Pools will also be taking over iTote, the remote horse-betting application service.

ENSURING RESPONSIBLE GAMING

The highest level of rigour and accountability in social safeguards and responsible gaming measures will be maintained with the consolidation of betting activities.

SINGAPORE POOLS' CHIEF EXECUTIVE SEAH CHIN SIONG

The iTote app will continue to be run separately from the Singapore Pools mobile app that allows users to place lottery and sports bets electronically. Singapore Pools and the Turf Club - founded in 1842 and the only horse-racing club here - will remain separate legal entities.

After the move, Singapore Pools will become the sole legal operator of lottery and sports betting here.

Singapore Pools' chief executive Seah Chin Siong said: "The highest level of rigour and accountability in social safeguards and responsible gaming measures will be maintained with the consolidation of betting activities."

 
 

Following existing arrangements, cost savings and surpluses from horse-betting operations will be channelled back to the community through the Tote Board's grant-making programmes.

The Turf Club's turnover has fallen steadily in recent years, from $2.1 billion in the financial year ended March 2010 to $1.2 billion in the 2016/2017 financial year.

In a list of answers to frequently asked questions, the Tote Board Group said Singapore Pools intends to eventually offer a unified account management system for all sports, lottery and horse-betting services. This is expected to be implemented about a year after horse-betting services are transferred to Singapore Pools.

The transfer comes in the wake of moves by Singapore Pools earlier this year to go green and reduce costs. In July, it did away with pre-printed Singapore Sweep tickets and chose to have them printed on demand. Last month, it introduced a paperless eBetslip app that allows punters to mark out 4-D and Toto bets on e-betting slips to reduce the use of paper betting slips.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore Pools to take over horse-betting operations'. Print Edition | Subscribe