Page 1


Groupe Carrus, a world-class betting specialist


PMC Software 30 horse-race-betting experts to get your development projects off the ground

STAR 2060, the new betting terminal Totally modular, ergonomic and safe – and coming soon to racetracks and betting establishments in France and Switzerland.


The pari-mutuel trailblazer is now an international bet-management and bet-IT leader.




Betting on horse races across Europe

Groupe Carrus is ready for new bets Welcome to the 2nd issue of PMCInfo.

Poland (1999) Racetracks 3 Races 515 Pari-mutuel revenue € million

As the gaming and gambling market will be opening up across the European Union over the coming few

Sweden Racetracks 37 Races 9 516 Pari-mutuel revenue 1 300 € million

months, it seems necessary to take stock of the situation in the different

Denmark Racetracks 9 Races 300 Pari-mutuel revenue 29 € million

countries and to provide a refresher course on the different types of bets. PMC’s




adventures, it is fair to say, date back to their respective inceptions. The result: it has sold more than 70,000 terminals and opened more than 25,000 outlets. This issue will pick up with the last one left off and take you to the country where we have our oldest partnership (Switzerland) and the one where our newest one is (Mali). More than 2,000 PMC STAR 2050 interactive terminals are up and running daily in France, Switzerland

Netherlands Racetracks 9 Races 1 414 Pari-mutuel revenue 34 € million

Germany Racetracks 54 Races 7 514 Pari-mutuel revenue 97 € million Bookmaking revenue (On-track only) 57 € million

United Kingdom Racetracks 59 Races 8 934 Pari-mutuel revenue 441 € million Bookmaking revenue 15 000 € million Ireland Racetracks 27 Races 2 268 Pari-mutuel revenue 50 € million Bookmaking revenue 3 600 € million Belgium (2005) Racetracks 7 Races 1 330 Pari-mutuel revenue 25 € million Bookmaking revenue 9 € million Luxembourg No gambling on horse races

and Spain. Operators – and players – love them. Here is an exclusive preview of the new PMC STAR 2060 terminals,





their tracks in a few months’ time. The latest issue took you to the Electronic Engineering office and this issue will be turning the spotlight on the Software team. That team is

France Racetracks 249 Races 17 492 Pari-mutuel revenue 9 000 € million Switzerland Racetracks 11 Races 320 Pari-mutuel revenue 108 € million Spain Racetracks 8 Races 488 Pari-mutuel revenue 30 € million Portugal No gambling on horse races

Slovenia Not significant

Italy Racetracks 42 Races 22 573 Pari-mutuel revenue 2 900 € million Bookmaking revenue 72 € million

one of Europe’s broadest in its field – gaming and gambling. It counts about 30 uncontested experts I their trade. Bon voyage! Jérôme et Pierre-Antoine Carrus 56 avenue Raspail FR-94100 Saint-Maur tél. +33 (0)1 41 81 11 81 fax +33 (0)1 41 81 11 82

Terms, conditions, and the big differences between Helsinki Seville, Dublin, Berlin and in between Betting on horse races varies a lot across Europe. In most countries, pari-mutuel and fixedodds betting share the market. Bookmaking obviously dominates the British and Irish markets. The pari-mutuel system, conversely, is predominant in Italy – and it is the only way of betting on horse races in France, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Portugal, Hungary, Slovenia and Cyprus.

In countries that only run pari-mutuel systems, there is generally a public or private monopoly or quasi-monopoly in charge. Examples include ATG (founded by racing companies but under State control) in Sweden, Fintoto Oy (a State-run company) in Finland, Scientific Games Racing (a private company) in the Netherlands and PMU (a consortium of sociétés de courses, i.e. companies that organize horse races) in France. In countries that have both systems, bookmakers are usually private-sector firms. In the UK – where the stakes are by far the highest – literally thousands of bookmakers are in the race, even though three of them pretty much control the market. In Denmark,


Defining bets Fixed odds Here, players bet against bookmakers based on predefined odds. So they know in advance how much they are going to make if they win. The bookmaker bets as well (he will win if the player loses). That is why fixing results is sometimes a risk in these cases.

Finland Racetracks NR Races 598 Pari-mutuel revenue 260 € million Latvia Not significant Estonia Not significant

Pari-mutuel Only pari-mutuel Mostly pari-mutuel Mostly non-pari-mutuel Not significant No gambling on horse races

Czech Republic Racetracks 15 Races 519 Pari-mutuel revenue 500 000 €

Lithuania Not significant

Sources : IFHA, PMC exploitation, GIE PMU, UET, Scientific Games

Slovakia Racetracks Races Pari-mutuel revenue

5 218 100 000 €

Sports betting

Austria Racetracks 27 Races 1 459 Pari-mutuel revenue 5 € million Hungary Racetracks 1 Races 1 114 Pari-mutuel revenue 6 € million

This form of betting, invented in 1868 by a Groupe Carrus subsidiary, does not involve playing against a bookmaker: it involves playing against fellow gamblers. Players do not know how much they will win in advance (it depends on how many people laid wagers, how much they each staked and how many of them got it right). Organizers charge a commission on the total amount of money at play, so they have no reason to favor one group over another.

Romania No gambling on horse races

Serbia Racetracks 4 Races 386 Pari-mutuel revenue NR

Betting on sports other than horse races (which is referred to as gambling on horse races). People bet on a variety of sports events but football matches attract the most money in Europe. Tennis matches are attracting bets as well. You can bet on the result of a match or on other variables (how many penalties there will be during a given match, for instance).

Bulgaria Non significatif Greece Racetracks 2 Races 1 203 Pari-mutuel revenue 338 € million

Online gambling Malta Offshore (online, and only on races abroad) Estimation 150 € million

Cyprus Racetracks 1 Races 1 002 Pari-mutuel revenue 90 € million

to the contrary, a State monopoly (Danske Spil) runs pari-mutuel and fixed-odds betting on horse races. In countries where pari-mutuel and fixedodds systems share the market, the first system is sometimes run by the companies organizing the horse races (as in Belgium) or associations promoting breeding (as in Germany). In Italy, the Ministry of Finance grants individuals or companies licenses to handle pari-mutuel and fixed-odds bets through calls for tenders. In the UK, the parimutuel system is run by Tote, a government company that will be privatized in 2012. Generally speaking, bookmaking pays out a lot to players and not much to the State. In the

UK, for example, bookmakers pay back 89% of the pool to players (88% in Ireland) and the State only gets 1.6% of the waged sum (1.4% in Ireland). Races get commensurately less (1% in the UK and 1.6% in Ireland). The pari-mutuel system, conversely, is more generous with the races and horse-breeding sector (which get 15.6% of the takings in Finland and 8% in France). It is also pays out more to the State (which gets 6.6% of the earnings in Finland, 11% in Sweden and… 13% in France). Players, on the other hand, get less than they get from bookmakers (70% of the pool in the Netherlands and Sweden, 73% in France and Finland, and 76% in Cyprus).

Also referred to remote or interactive gambling. Here, bets are made through electronic systems (the Internet, telephones, interactive television, Minitel or cell phones). A number of online betting options are also available through traditional channels, and others have been contrived specifically for the Internet (and will no doubt be coming soon to cell phones). A sizeable portion of online bets are illegal.

Forecast games Intelligent betting, involving the player’s savvy rather than just luck.

Gross Gambling Revenue (GGR) The amount wagered minus the winnings returned to players.

Player Return Rate (PRR) The percentage of the amount wagered returned to players.



Idrissa Haidara and PMC to rejuvenate PMU Mali

Austria/Germany Hooking up to STAR 3000 WTV and German Tote started connecting their 80 outlets to the PMC’s central system – the STAR 3000 – in June 2008. That was a big leap forward: until then, PMC only rented terminals to Austrian and German operators. WTV and German Tote now have STAR 2012 systems, and will be keeping that generation of terminals. Above all they will be able to hook up to international races. That will be a big step forward for these operators – as it is a big step for PMC, which has bolstered the loyalty of two of its big European customers.

Yann Pendaries

Morocco 10 years together

Idrissa Haidara, PMU Mali CEO

PMU Mali needed a partner

firm to support the switch from manual to automatic gambling – and the revolution that it entailed. Idrissa Haidara chose PMC on account of its powerful central system and in-depth understanding of African markets. They have only been working together for eight months – and their success is already unquestionable. Idrissa Haidara has been one of PMU Mali’s pillars for 14 years now. He served as its deputy director for 10 years before being appointed CEO in 2004. His ample experience and extensive knowledge of horse-racing bets have no doubt contributed to that company’s consistent growth year after year. He has also known Groupe Carrus for a long time – and has seen PMC’s success stories abroad time and again. PMC’s grasp of the grassroots “I realized that PMC was the only company that could work in Africa – culturally and technically speaking.” PMU Mali’s CEO

reached that conclusion when he assessed what PMC had done in other African countries such as Senegal, Burkina Fasso, Congo Brazzaville and Kinshasa. Idrissa Haidara is clear about his decision: PMC knows the grassroots, the engineers on its team work hand in hand with Malian technicians, and it can blend seamlessly into nonWestern countries. PMC accommodated a number of factors – the harsh weather, ubiquitous dust and light cuts – and came up with the equipment that could deliver the optimum performance. It also nurtured sound relationships with African contacts – in contrast with the paternalism that is sadly often the norm. It is mutual trust and understanding that PMU Mali and its partner firm have built as a result explain why their achievements have overshot expectations. An instant success – and growing PMU Mali’s revenue has seen a 50% leap since PMC’s terminals went online in October 2007. And, Idrissa Haidara believes, that’s just the beginning: “PMC’s efficient technology is spurring and supporting this success.” PMC set up ten STAR 2015 terminals connected to the STAR 3000 server in two spots in Bamako (eight in the central agency and two in La Tonnelle, a restaurant). These two PMU outlets generate CFA 263 million (Ð405 thousand) a month. In Idrissa Haidara’s words, “PMC’s robust and efficient technology has kickstarted this success – and is supporting it the growth that it has spurred.” A success indeed: Malian players can now bet safely on all French races, and PMC will no doubt be able to open doors to other international markets.

PMC branched into Morocco in 1998. Horse racing is big there, and run by the Société Royale d’Encouragement de la Race Chevaline et du Pari Mutuel Urbain Marocain, the royal agency in charge of promoting horse racing and pari-mutuel gambling in Moroccan cities. Originally, three STAR 2004 totalizers ran the 107 STAR 2012 terminals in Rabat-Souissi, Casablanca-Anfa, Setat and El Jadida racetracks, and in a dozen agencies across that kingdom’s large cities. Morocco chose PMC to develop its betting network at the outcome of its international call for bids in 2002. A STAR 3000 Stratus 429 central server – that can handle up to 2000 windows – replaced the STAR 2004 systems. Today, 1120 STAR 2012 and STAR 2015 terminals are up and running across Morocco, in 32 branches from Tanger to Laayoun and from Casablanca to Oujda, 4 racetracks and 500 branches. Patrons can bet on French races every day of the week and on Moroccan races four days a week. They do so on average 420,000 times a day (and 500,000 times a day on Quinté days). The telecom network originally ran on X25 but has migrated completely to VPN ADSL technology over the past year. Two new racetracks will be connecting up to the network soon: Khenisset and Meknès. But the merit, especially, goes to the six people on Khalid Bailane’s team who pool their expertise and professional talent to keep Morocco’s constantly-growing PMU betting system running 365 days a year.

Moroccan fantasia With authorization from Michel Marny (Stralsfors)



Switzerland and PMC celebrate silver anniversary

Bet revenue in Switzerland has been on a steady upward trend since it opted into the pooling system in 1991. The figures naturally tally with a wider trend but also reflect Switzerland’s move to use PMC’s latest technology. That win-win partnership is a handsome showcase for Groupe Carrus’ operations.

Groupe Carrus has been in Switzerland for 25 years now. It has equipped every racetrack in that country – which is also PMC’s oldest export market – and has been cementing this partnership year after year. The STAR 2000 and 2060 terminals are only two of the many challenges that PMC has successfully negotiated in this perfect marriage.

Efficiency and quality nurture loyalty In 1988, patrons in Switzerland’s 11 racetracks could still only bet on national races. PMC encouraged Bruno and Peter Hoffer, the men in charge of logistics and operations at El Toto, to meet Philippe Maillard, who ran Loterie Romande (Loro) at the time, and PMU’s Development Department. Their talks led them to establish PMU Romand, the PMU company that organizes wholesale betting between French-speaking Switzerland and French races. Groupe Carrus was involved in the technical side of developing horse-racing bets in Switzerland as a result: it set up STAR 2001 terminals across the ALR (Avant La Réunion – before the gathering) betting network and all-new STAR 2012 on the PLR (Pendant La Réunion) networks. They

France as a model for finding the Swiss horse-racing sector Swiss racing federation President Jean-Pierre Kratzer was one of the men that backed plans to pool bets with France. As he puts it, “It was clear to me that the French model was the only way to go to secure our sector in Switzerland, and that the only way to do that was to pool bets with France.” For the past 20 years, we have been working on an entirely interactive system, which finances each other’s sectors. Switzerland redistributes bets on French races and France pays Switzerland fees. That business model put Jean-Pierre Kratzer in a position to promote IENA (Avenches National Equestrian Institute) and build Switzerland’s largest racetrack in that region, in only 10 years. Those 140 hectares are used for horse breeding as well as races, crowning the growth that Switzerland’s horse-racing sector has been enjoying.

worked so well that the PMU will soon be ordering 15,000 after its call for bids on terminals (part of its Pégase project). Which is fair enough! Reto Volmer, who runs the IT Production Department at PMU Romand, told us why Switzerland has remained loyal to its first and only supplier: “PMC is reliable, efficient, and moves fast. Their central unit works flawlessly and their product tracking is outstanding. But, above all, we have a healthy and friendly working relationship. We’re a team and that’s not about to change.

Tailoring the solution to the Swiss market’s specifics If Groupe Carrus has been providing unsurpassed service for Switzerland’s racetracks over the past 25 years, it is not just because its products are robust: it is also because it listens to its customers. As Mr. Sabatini, a PMU Romand manager puts it, “We decided to work with PMC by ourselves because it’s always better to work with professionals that have been doing their job for 50 years than with outside consultants who don’t know the full operation.” PMC engineers delivered a solution that accommodated that market’s singular features: they developed multilingual

105 000 000

Annual revenue, Swiss francs (CHF)

Jérôme Carrus started talking to Swiss racetrack managers back in 1983, when they still handled bets by hand. El Toto, the company that did so, was impressed by the professionalism that PMC had shown and the efficient software that had long been tried and tested in France. It decided to use the system in all Swiss racetracks, and did to with a STAR 2003 central server and 40 STAR 2000 terminals.

120 000 000

90 000 000

75 000 000

60 000 000

45 000 000

30 000 000

15 000 000

0 1991





Year CHF 1 = 0.62 € (by July 2008 figures)

(French and German) and multicurrency (euro and Swiss-franc) terminals to pool the bets with France, and fit a STAR 3000 totalizer in Switzerland to handle bets locally. As Swiss authorities levy taxes at source (Swiss players pay tax when they get their prize money), the STAR 3000 calculates how much they have to pay and issues a second receipt for tax purposes. That technological feat keeps betting across Switzerland running safely and smoothly. La Loro, which now as Jean-Luc MonerBanet at the helm, and PMC, look forward to seeing you in 25 years’ time for their gold anniversary! Avenches racetrack



STAR 2060, Rising


Making a terminal self-service: a STAR 2021 exclusive

PMC’s new self-service terminal, which has been rolling off production lines for the PMU and CPM since last September, is packed with amazing new features. It is… MODULAR Four separate mix-andmatch modules (basic, stand, e-banking and information). More than ten configuration options (standalone, castermounted, wallmounted, etc.). SMALLER Takes up practically half as much floor space as previous-generation models. USER-FRIENDLY The totally intuitive interface provides ultimate player convenience – limitedmobility players included – and spans the screen and the peripherals. OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE FRIENDLY The separate access and vertical petalshaped hatches make life much easier for operation and maintenance teams. SECURE The sensitive features – the e-money module in particular – come with tighter security safeguards.

… and everything you like about the STAR 2020 (it is efficient, robust, comfortable, flexible, versatile, upscalable, autonomous, etc.)

The overhaul

It only takes a few minutes to turn a STAR 2020 into a self-service terminal – and this petit miracle by PMC engineers earned a patent in May 2008. The STAR 2021 overhaul kit is easy to use: it is something akin to a second layer of clothing that includes the full payment module. The advantage for racecourses and other betting establishments hardly needs to be mentioned: they can use the same system in staffed and self-service configurations. They can also buy the kit separately. So, for instance, a racetrack or highstreet betting establishment can use STAR 2021s to take bets outside staff working hours. The switch only takes a few minutes and does not take up much space. It fits into any environment, costs much less than a classical terminal, and the choice of variants is ample. So more than a few customers in France and abroad should find this new PMC product appealing.

The terminal goes selfservice

ISO 9001Version 2000 : passing the 2008 follow-up audit with flying colors PMC earned ISO 9001:2000 certification in 2007 and has since moved on to the follow-up phase, which entails two annual audits through 2010, when certification renewal is due. These intermediate audits make sure that PMC’s quality management system meets standard requirements. AFAQ has just finished the 2008 audit and is delighted with the results. And PMC did what it had to do: Alain Turco, a consulting specialist, has been coordinating quality management for a year now. He spends a lot of time helping top and middle management, and staff, to take the quality-improvement process on board as a way of bolstering customer satisfaction. And he is confident: “Our quality-management system has blended into PMC’s operations, and serves as an efficient steering instrument.”



Yann Pendaries

and so on). Applied to the PMC skill-area chain (encompassing central systems, networks, the web and terminals), project management is also the cornerstone of the quality process we used to earn and are using to monitor ISO 9001:2000 certification.

Philippe de March, PMC Software Department Director

PMC software: expertise serving each customer’s requirements The PMC software team and its 30 engineers have earned their leadership in the horse-racing-bets field. Their expertise is unchallenged, and their grasp of the ground, creativity and versatility delivers global and turnkey solutions. PMC Software Department Director Philippe de March visibly loves his job – but he plays it down. Computers, he implies, are tools, not goals: “Everyone on our team is perfectly at home with this amazing tools, but never loses sight of what we do (take bets) and our goal (earning customer satisfaction).” That is PMC’s goal in France and on the international scene. And it has a trump card to do so: its software engineers, most of whom have been with the company for more than 15 years, have amassed trailblazing expertise for the long run.

Project management: guaranteeing quality Developing a new product – to keep up with developments in the market or to accommodate a customer’s specific request – involves a number of steps to make sure the whole process rolls out smoothly: the team audits requirements, lends advice, develops the solution, installs it, trains staff, provides maintenance and then upscales it. Area managers run this project, as they know the countries they serve (the languages, regulations, operations, telecoms systems

Bespoke design, support and everything in between There is little doubt that, when they work with their teams on a project, Yann Launay (central systems), Abdel Hajfani and Marc Willaime (terminals), and François Lechat (networks) will deliver a best-in-class solution. Most computer systems use this three-pronged approach but the difference in our field is the real-time factor. Between the time the gambler submits a request, the central system processes it (it handles several giga-octets of data), the receipt is printed out and the winner is paid, only a tenth of a second goes by. Horses, as it were, are not the only ones racing on a racetrack. And, when you have customers in Tatarstan (which uses the Cyrillic alphabet) or in Tunisia (where there are three digits after the decimal point), the entire team works transversally to develop a custom solution for its customer. 24/7 All PMC product and system users will agree that our solutions are reliable. But incidents and unforeseeable glitches are nevertheless inevitable. Along with the Operations Department, the Software team is on call 24/7 to deal with customer problems. “We can respond fast because we know our products inside and out. That’s an amazing advantage. The fact that we get involved on the ground also keeps us in touch with how customers use our products and systems, and gives us the leads we need to improve them.”

STAR Web: the PMC solution for web-based gambling STAR Web, PMC’s latest product, was developed to accommodate requests from customers in Europe and Africa. PMC’s bet-taking site is user-friendly, efficient and secure. Account creation, funds management and tracking are ironclad thanks to specialized partner companies. That is one of the main issues: you can’t gamble money you don’t have, so ascertaining player creditworthiness is of the essence. And, especially, the information on the site has to be as comprehensive as possible, and encompass race schedules, odds, and horse track records. Because smarter, sportier and more exciting gambling has been a Groupe Carrus leitmotif from the start.

Markcom - Photo : Yann Pendaries

Groupe Carrus has been the pari-mutuel champion – and has been rewarding gamers and the horseracing world – since 1888. Two billion bets, 25,000 outlets and 70,000 terminals up and running in more than 300 racecourses make it the company blazing the trail to rise to tomorrow’s challenges.

Groupe Carrus n1  

Groupe Carrus n1