The acquisition will be completed on Thursday 1 May 2008 and will effectively see all NSW greyhound racing information collected, collated and distributed by GRNSW for the benefit of the industry.
DeFax was established in 1982 for the specific purpose of entering into an agreement with the former Greyhound Racing Authority to computerise the details of racing performance of registered greyhounds at race meetings and qualifying trials and to enable publication of race books containing such details to be sold by greyhound racing clubs.
Effectively the former Greyhound Racing Authority outsourced the function of collecting, collating and distributing race form information to deFax who obtained a return for doing so by commercially exploiting the database.
GRNSW Chairman Professor Percy Allan AM said the fragmented and loose manner in which the greyhound racing industry has historically managed its intellectual property rights in racing information has been an issue of ongoing concern to GRNSW.
“The current approach does not maximise the commercial value of the data to the broader industry and does not appropriately position the industry for the structural changes occurring in the Australian wagering market,” Professor Allan said.
“The purchase of deFax will allow GRNSW to protect the industry’s intellectual property and provide an opportunity to maximise greyhound racing industry revenue.”
“The board is committed to growing wagering on greyhound racing and this will help us streamline what we are doing already and improve GRNSW communications with the industry in a prudent and effective manner.”
GRNSW commissioned an independent valuation of the deFax business which looked at all aspects of the business including structure, commercial viability and cost, before settling on a purchase amount of $135,000.
As part of the purchase GRNSW will also commence the winding down of the current monthly publication The Chaser that currently costs the industry more than $180,000 per annum to produce and distribute. The June edition of the magazine will be the last with all race information to be provided in a more cost effective manner on a revamped industry website.
GRNSW Chief Executive Brent Hogan said The Chaser will be replaced by an enhanced digital offering that will now include essential racing information including comprehensive race form for all NSW greyhound meetings.
“The Chaser has provided the industry with valuable information over the past few years but as the technology grows, it has become increasingly apparent that for the information to become relevant, timely and immediate we need to provide it in a format other than a magazine,” Mr Hogan said.
“The new online offering will ensure the accuracy and currency of information to participants at all times, it will maximise the benefits of acquiring deFax and will be a cost effective way of distributing information to our participants.”
“The new digital experience will also allow us to present race form for NSW greyhound race meetings online in an accessible and innovative format so as to better market and promote our sport……Key sections of the Chaser including race programming and Blue Paws information will continue to be available in hard copy as part of a revamped race book offering.”
Hogan said: “The GBOTA should be applauded for the positive nature of the negotiations and cooperation they have provided with the handover of the business.”
The new website, including e-newsletters and improved form is set to be online from 1st July