Longitude engine will take betting further, says Hong Kong Jockey Club
Technology from US-based firm holds potential for more flexible wagering products, seminar at Asian Racing Conference is told
The Jockey Club hopes to roll out new bet types next year tailored to increase its user friendliness and flexibility, and to take advantage of the world-first Longitude engine behind the success of the Quartet.
The "Connecting with the customer" session at the 35th Asian Racing Conference at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre heard from the club's executive director, customer and marketing, Richard Cheung Che-kit.
Cheung said the club had not yet touched the potential of the single-pool technology from US-based firm Longitude.
"We need to go through the approval process with the Home Affairs Bureau, so there is nothing to announce yet," said Cheung.
"But if we are able to overcome those regulatory requirements, we hope that we can take a first step to using more of the capabilities of Longitude in 2015.
"That would most likely start with merging the turnover of some of the exotic pools to use the single pool wagering concept."
Beyond that, the club is looking at "composite" bets, which would have real flexibility for the betting customer, and Cheung outlined an example.
"Anyone who has been racing in Hong Kong will have seen the green light and brown lights on the odds, identifying the horses getting significant betting support.
"And we know customers are concerned about the horses which have the last-minute odds movement," Cheung said.
"They like to 'catch the movement'. This is still in development but we call it a composite win bet - a different way to let our customers bet."
The example for the conference was a punter wanting to cover all but three runners in a 10-horse race, with a single $10 bet.
"The Longitude engine can split that bet across all the horses and the payout is adjusted so it is the same if any of them wins. And the customer doesn't have to worry about which horse has the last-minute odds change," Cheung explained.
Cheung later said that the same concept could be applied to any sub-group of runners in a race.
"The customer might want the 'John Moore combo' - to include all of his runners in one $10 bet. The underlying technology will do the weighting for them in real time as the odds change. Taken to its ultimate, the customer will be able to choose any bet of his or her imagination," he said.
The relaunch of the Quartet in January has been an unqualified success, although it has been kept relatively simple.
The only part of it making use of the Longitude engine's capabilities is real-time display of Quartet odds for any combination, but Longitude's chief executive Tom Ascher gave an inkling of what computing power that required for the 24,024 combinations in a 14-horse field.
"Ten years ago, that would have taken a day to calculate - now we do it in a fraction of a second," he said.