Raj Sanjanwala: Global Tote is ‘raising the bar’ for betting terminal technology

The last 18 months have been busy for Global Tote, a subsidiary of BetMakers Technology Group, as it has carried out a number of upgrades across its online and digital offering. 

Raj Sanjanwala, COO of Global Tote, reflects on some of the objectives that he set out when first announcing the launch of Global Tote, before making his predictions on what we can expect from the company in 2023.

SBC: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! So when we last spoke, you outlined a vision of revamping the user experience across Global Tote’s retail and digital channels. How has this gone so far?

I’m happy to report that we are on our planned trajectory delivering new products and enhancements designed to help our clients offer a great betting experience and position their businesses for growth.

SBC: Can you share a little bit about some of the upgrades that you have carried out?

It’s been a busy year and a half. Over the last 18 months, we’ve invested in multiple initiatives that cover the full range of Global Tote’s services, all designed to elevate the user experience. 

An exceptional user experience can result from the betting terminal being easy to use and aesthetically pleasing or from web and mobile platforms that are intuitive and data rich. This year we invested in these critical consumer touch points by launching our new BetLine Series of teller and self-service wagering terminals and introducing our Next Gen platform for web and mobile betting. 

The availability of new content, new bet types, larger pools, or new features can drive user satisfaction and revenue, so we are always adding new features to our core tote solution. 

This year a few of the more interesting developments were an increase in the number of bet types eligible to be included in the World Pool and support for World Pool expansion to additional tracks in the UK and Ireland. We developed new flexi and flex betting features for clients in Europe and deployed additional handicapping contest features, seen in action at the 2022 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.

In addition, we began rolling out terminal software updates to take both fixed odds and tote bets through the BetLine devices, a critical feature as US states begin to regulate fixed odds betting.

Investments in systems and infrastructure help ensure that bets are processed quickly and securely across global networks. This year, we continued investing in infrastructure, moving to host our fully managed SaaS solution from Global Tote’s AWS computing environment and leveraging the power, scale and redundancy of that world-class hosting solution.

We also began the build out of a new race day control center in Metro Atlanta to complement our facility in Asia and allow us to offer turn-key race day control services with a ‘follow the sun’ model for full international coverage. 

SBC: Did you manage to fulfill your commitment to create a new standard for betting terminal aesthetics? If so, how have you achieved this?

We believe that our new BetLine terminals really raise the bar for terminal aesthetics and so far, our new terminals have performed well under race day demands.  

More importantly, our investment in the series helps ensure that our clients have the tools to grow and evolve their businesses and the flexibility to quickly offer new betting products as they become available. 

This year we continued to enhance the BetLine series with new variations including a compact teller terminal and a self-service cashing kiosk, which we introduced at the Symposium on Racing this month and will roll out in the new year.

SBC: What would you say have been the key challenges when it comes to overhauling your digital platforms?

A key challenge is one that many technology companies are experiencing – the sourcing of design and development specialists to help us meet demand.  

We have been diligent about attracting and retaining an excellent team, which is now firing on all cylinders to deliver for our clients.  This is critical because Next Gen has the potential to be a game-changer for our digital clients who will have more flexibility to cater to new fans as regulations liberalize. It was designed with a multi-vertical strategy to offer tote, fixed odds, and sports, all from a single platform. 

SBC: New Jersey has obviously been a big market for fixed-odds betting for horse racing. Do you envision any more states joining the stable in the next few years?

We do. We recently launched fixed odds betting in another North American jurisdiction – Jamaica – and the regulatory process is underway at various stages in other US states. We continue to see progress in more states and are working closely with stakeholders.

SBC: Looking into that metaphorical crystal ball, where do you see Global Tote in another year’s time?

We expect to deploy more of our new BetLine terminals and Next Gen digital platforms to clients and to see growth in betting tied to an enhanced user experience.  

We also hope in 2023 to continue growing our global footprint. 

This year, we were thrilled to announce our selection to be the new tote technology and services provider to Norsk Rikstoto, Norway’s sole purveyor of betting on horse racing, as the result of a competitive bidding process. 

We have also renewed numerous key contracts in the Americas, as well as with Veikkaus Oy, the gaming company owned by the Finnish State, and we will continue to provide them with tote system software and operational services, including new bet types and other features to enhance the experience of racing and betting enthusiasts in Finland.

New clients and contract renewals are the strongest validation of our strategy and speak to the quality of our products and services. This success, combined with what I think is the best global team in the industry, gives me confidence that next year will be productive for Global Tote and for our clients, as 2022 has been.