Bookmakers Technology Consortium

 DigiNews

DigiNews by BTC has now been supplied to independent betting shops for over four years. It is proving to be the most popular digital newspaper system for independent bookmakers in the UK and Ireland. The service now supports both BTC and Toals early price datafeeds. Orders for screens have now passed the 200 mark.

The history of digital newspapers

Digital newspapers were originally developed using static screen displays which replicate traditional hard copy newspapers. These take up wall space and still require the customer to visit a number of screens to obtain information from all race meetings.

A second generation of display system were developed which make use of a small touchscreen tablet linked to a standard TV. This type of system makes better use of wall space, enables the customer to access all race meetings with a visit to one screen. This type of system is a major improvement on the original systems but lacks the flexibility of a full touchscreen system.

The latest version of DigiNews is the most advanced digital newspaper yet. It consists of a 43” 4K touchscreen monitor which displays all the days race meetings, both horse and dogs, together with selected pages of sports content. This is the third generation system of digital newspaper and it fully addresses the failings of earlier versions. Customers can obtain all information from one screen – no walking around the shop to find race cards. The touchscreen allows customers to zoom in on content – tapping a card brings up additional form for the runners. All form is available on one screen via simple “next page” buttons – no walking away from the cards to read the form. The digital newspaper has now come of age.

DigiNews by BTC

The BTC recognised the benefits of the new DigiNews and have worked with 2DB to develop it into a system that fully meets the demands of the UK and Irish independent betting shop industry. Various features have been developed from suggestions by BTC.

There is a “Next Races” column on the right hand side of each screen. This permanently lists the next three or four races to take place, this enables race-to-race customers to quickly find a race card without bothering other customers who are using the digital newspapers.

The BTC central studio will manage the DigiNews for independent bookmakers. To reduce the cost of managing a DigiNews infrastructure the BTC also have the ability to take in early prices from third party suppliers and provide those prices on DigiNews in shops supported by that EP supplier.

Adverts can be inserted into the content on DigiNews but it is important to stress that this is not the primary purpose of a digital newspaper. Initially adverts of a generic nature will be used but systems are being developed to assign adverts to individual shops.

Content included in DigiNews

Commercial terms have been agreed with PA for provision of race cards and form for use in the DigiNews. Prices from EP suppliers will be added to this content so that current prices for selections are available within the race cards. The PA content costs will be included in the charges from BTC for support of the system.

Why use a digital newspaper?

The present cost of the Racing Post Betting Shop Edition is directly linked to the number of betting shops subscribing to the publication and the cost of newsprint. There has recently been a 20p increase in the cost of this publication due to newsprint costs. If, as is widely predicted, 2,500 betting shops close in the UK then it seems inevitable that the cost of the BSE will increase further. If shop closures are coupled with a move to digital newspapers by a large number of the remaining shops then a cycle of cost increase of the BSE appears inevitable.

There is a move towards digitising the betting shop putting pressure on space in traditional betting shops. DigiNews take up less space allowing full access to all cards and form in a more efficient manner than newsprint or the earlier generation of digital newspapers. Thus space is made available for SSBT’s, gaming machines and other new services.

DigiNews screenshots

The DigiNews is displayed in 4K UHD, it is impossible to reproduce the screenshots in 4K detail within this webpage, please click on the image to expand in a new window where the full detail of the page will be available.

Race card for a horse race meeting highlighting the “pop-out” feature available by simply tapping the relevant race. Note the small page 1 & page 2 buttons for scrolling through the form pages. Also the “Next Races” column is shown on the right hand side.

DigiNews Pop out race

Greyhound cards shown as two per view. A “pop-out” feature is available for all races. The pop out will provide additional lines of form.

DigiNews Dog Cards

A page showing the virtual races from SIS is available as is a page showing the VIP virtual races supplied by BTC. Results of the previous nine races are displayed in the first column with the cards for later races listed in column 2 onwards.

DigiNews Virtual Card

Pages showing the minor foreign meetings covered on SIS is available. Full form is not available for these meetings but all information that is available is displayed. As cards are limited more than one meeting is shown per page with advertising filling the remainder of the space.

DigiNews Foreign Racing

The latest development is a page to support the ToteScoop6 bet on days when the bet is available. The six races are listed in time order together with form lines. The button on the index bar is highlighted by using the scoop6 colours.

Scoop 6

During the Euro 2020 tournament pages showing the prices available on each match were added to DigiNews to help promote betting on the tournament.

DigiNews Euro 2020

Each DigiNews display will have the bookmakers logo located in the index bar at the bottom left hand corner of the screen, where the BTC logo is shown above.

Commercials for DigiNews

The BTC will operate DigiNews on a cost sharing model. There are central costs which remain relatively static as numbers of subscribers increase. Therefore considerable economies of scale are available as take up of this system increases.

Hardware Costs
43” 4K touchscreen monitor costs vary as they are purchased direct from the supplier in China. Currently they are £825 per unit.
We now have a media player based on a Raspberry Pi mini computer which can drive one screen. This is known as a DigiNews flex Player and costs £112 per unit
Thus, to support DigiNews a screen and Flex Player can be purchased for under £1,000
Brackets, cables, delivery and installation are extra.

Ongoing Costs
The BTC are looking for additional content that can improve the service for subscribers. Additional content may increase the monthly cost of the service on the rates detailed below. At All times BTC will seek to reduce prices as the total number of screens installed increases;
 Number of screens installed Cost per month per screen 
 up to 200 £26 
 201 to 250 £24 
 251 to 300 £23 
 301 to 350 £22 
 351 to 400 £21 
 Cost at 401 screens £20 

The touchscreen monitors are sourced direct from China and usually take 6 to 8 weeks to be delivered. We order in batches of 50 units. An order with a 50% deposit paid will secure your equipement from existing stock or if unavailable from the next batch of deliveries from China.

Customer Enquiries

If you are interested in the service please email sales@btc.uk.com for further information.
Information Sheet