Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

May, 1974 : Introducing CRISP

Introducing CRISP

Another page that was not part of TABLOID, instead the press release announcing the advent of CRISP in May, 1974.  Copies of the release were obviously circulated to staff, but at this point, the TABLOID issues lent by Ron Bird pre-date the CRISP announcement by a considerable period of time.  The announcement was made to a gathering of racing journalists by the Chairman of the T.A.B., Mr. Hilton Nicholas.





Mr. Minister and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure today to welcome you on behalf of the Board.

I would particularly like to thank you, Mr. Minister, not only for attending this function but for agreeing to announce the operational plans we are at present devising and developing.

The Board is now in a position, thanks to recent legislation establishing a development reserve which was so successfully introduced by the Minister, to embark on future planning proposals with a great deal of confidence.

This, gentlemen, is the first time these plans have been made public.

It has always been our policy to keep our clients and the media fully advised of our plans as soon as it is possible to do so.

We will continue to have these news conferences as there is more to explain and more to show

I am sure when you hear our plans you will agree they are very important ones - both from the viewpoint of the T.A.B. client and for the racing industry as a whole.

Victoria T.A.B. has now been in existence 13 years, and the huge growth during that time has been little short of phenomenal.

We are currently writing an average of more than a million dollars on each of the six days and nights a week we operate.

In the past five years, the number of transactions has risen from 130 million per year to about 300 million per year, a rise of more than three million a year.

All of this places tremendous pressure on equipment and, in fact, if the Board some nine years ago had not decided to introduce computers into our operations and retained, instead, a manual system, it simply would not have been possible to handle the turnover of even three years ago.

You cannot handle increased turnover, you cannot handle increased business and you cannot maintain a top service to the public in the face of these two increases, without the aid of sophisticated equipment - and it is about such equipment that the Minister will be addressing you today.

When he has finished his address, please feel free to ask any questions you desire, which will be answered by the Board's senior officers or myself.

Now, gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce the Honourable, the Minister for Youth, Sport and Recreation, Mr. Dixon.





The T.A.B. is in the process of developing far-reaching revolutionary extensions to its computerised operations that will provide Victorians with one of the best off-course betting services in the world.

These extensions will cost in the region of $8 million and are essential if the T.A.B. is to keep pace with a constantly increasing turnover that this year will reach at least $365 million, in the following year will top the $400 million mark and potentially five years after that, exceed $700 million.

The present Carbine system was designed in 1965 when the turnover was only $111 million and it is not capable of handling the enormous increases that lie ahead and so, as a business organization, T.A.B. must plan for the future.

The new extensions will provide the following advantages.  Above all, current service will be speeded considerably and offer the great majority of country clients the same facilities enjoyed by those in the metropolitan area.

• Instead of recording just one bet, tickets are being designed to record a number of bets of the same type and they will be much easier for punters to read and understand.

• Multiple tickets for Quadrellas and Daily Doubles, etc., will also be available.

• Telephone Betting, which currently handles about 40,000 accounts, will be expanded to provide a better service.

Though new bet types are not contemplated for some considerable time, the new system would allow for their introduction.

As a preface to the new plan, automation of almost all the biggest agencies in country areas is taking place now and should be completed by September this year.

It will leave about 100 smaller manual agencies which will be covered in a second stage of the plan.

Such an extensive project as this new system involving, as it does, creation, design, and manufacture, must take time.

In addition, the new equipment must be subject to a searching test before it "goes on air".

It is, however, planned to convert the first agencies in August 1976 at an initial rate of about three per week, and it is planned by 1980 to see the whole of the State completely automated.

In being given the privilege of being asked by the Chairman of the Totalizator Agency Board to announce these dramatic and constructive new computer plans, I have not gone into the wealth and depth of technical detail that is obviously associated with such a scheme.

I have endeavoured to limit my comments to those which you as racing journalists would want to know

and those which will most interest the average punter, who you represent.

As you will be aware, whenever Victoria T.A.B. has introduced any new computerised system, it has given the system the name of a well-known racehorse.


The original computer complex was called CARBINE, and then the automated ticket selling machine which followed was called RIMFIRE.

Up to here, this new system which I have outlined today, has been called, for drawing-board purposes, G.W.S. - three initials that stand for Generalized Wagering System.

But now that the project has been made public, I have been asked to christen it with the name it will carry forever more.

Again, it is the name of a famous racehorse - CRISP.

The letters stand for Comprehensive Racing Investment Service for the Public. Crisp is a very gallant jumper that not only made an indelible mark on Victorian racecourses but, as you know, captured the hearts of all sportsmen with some outstanding performances in England.

The choice of the name Crisp is particularly fitting for another reason.

The owner and also the breeder of Crisp is Sir Chester Manifold.

Sir Chester was Chairman of the Victoria Racing Club when legislation was introduced to enable the establishment of the Victoria T.A.B. - the first T.A.B. to be established in Australia.

He was the leader of a forward thinking group of racing officials who advocated the establishment of a T.A.B. in this State. With the support of the Premier of the day, Sir Henry Bolte, Sir Chester saw his dreams come to fruition.

Sir Chester was unanimously appointed the foundation Chairman of the Totalizator Agency Board and it was in no small measure due to his acumen, enthusiasm and ability that initial plans were moulded as well as they were and provided the solid foundation from which the organization has grown from strength to strength.

How fitting it is then that this doyen of all racing administrators should be so directly associated with this latest development.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for asking me to make public your new plans.

I congratulate your Board on its vision and I wish the T.A.B. - and Crisp - every possible success.