Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey


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The Totalisator in Victoria : How and Why?

In this section, we look at the history and development of the totalizator in Victoria up to the opening day in March, 1961 of the off-course Totalizator Agency Board which Control Data Australia had such a close relationship in its early days.  We then extend a little bit beyond to see the spectacular rate of growth in turnover.

Although the Victorian Board was to be become the most progressive in the world in terms of adopting technology, it will surprise many to learn that it took 50 years of hard grind before the first on-course tote was opened at Moonee Valley in August, 1931 and that Victoria was the last State in Australia to adopt a totalizator system - some 15 years behind Sydney and a half-century after others!

The latest version 2 was released 23 July, 2013 and is around 112 pages, an increase of some 20 plus pages on the original.

Most of the original pages have now been summarised for ease of reading and maintenance and we suggest downloading the full version after browsing the excerpts.

2016-18 Updates

January, 2018.  An extensive update outlining the introduction of doubles totalizators, first mooted for Sydney in the late 1940s, but 1955 before fully implemented in Melbourne. The equipment needed to support doubles where a possible (although highly improbable) 24 starters in each leg meant 576 combinations was hugely more complex than earlier win and place and delays were inevitable. Also an interesting anecdote on the fate of a Kiwi “emu” - the tab given to those that use to spend much of their race-day collecting discarded tickets in the hope that one or two of them may have been of some value …

November, 2017  During a re-formatting of the VicTAB section to expand page widths to provided a better match for the bigger screens, I noted missing in action was Friedrich Augustus Schinnerling, a great rival of Siegfried Francks (and a fellow German) - Schinnerling has been added and Franks re-worked to combine the activities of the pair. Many of the other articles were also update to some extent, and there’s a topic of special interest, you may want to have another look!

April, 2017  Pretty well a complete revision of RIMFIRE, RIOTS and restrictions and what might have the possible solution.   

February, 2017 Hopefully not comprising current-day security, but a little expose of why if you had a successful day on the punt in the 1970s you never accepted “The Last Dollar Note” when collecting your gains from your local agency.

January, 2017 reveals the one,time that the TAB actually gambled, albeit in a very small way, rather than take the statutory deduction as its’ gross margin “Taking A Punt” (see November, 2016 for context)

November 2016 adds a background of the largely-forgotten operations of the TAB (an off-course betting agency) on all four of Melbourne’s tracks; mostly manual because of the irregular use, but with  RIOTs installed at Moonee Valley for the weekly trotting meetings.

See also :

Excerpts from TABLOID

CDA VicTAB Installations




These pages are all excerpts from a much broader “VicTAB - How and Why”, currently 148 A4 -pages and available for DOWNLOAD in PDF format