The Australian Turf Club (ATC) is half way through a Wi-Fi network rollout designed to give punters a fast, free Internet service at Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick raceways in Sydney.
The introduction of Xirrus wireless arrays started in March 2013 at Rosehill. Randwick Wi-Fi network is expected to be completed by August 2013 due to a grandstand re-build.
ATC IT manager Pablo Pelaez told Computerworld Australia that the project has attracted punters who want to use their smartphone or tablet back to the racecourses.
The wireless service was tested during the recent BMW Sydney Carnival held at Rosehill in April.
“We had 50 per cent of the arrays commissioned at that time. Race-goers reported that they were able to download the latest form and betting odds without congestion,” he said.
Some of the most visited websites were Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where visitors posted updates and photos about their race-day.
“The system is designed for 50,000 devices and across the two sites there are 240 wireless arrays.”
ATC is using Xirrus application control to prioritise applications, such as betting forms, and restrict bandwidth heavy peer to peer traffic.
“This application control ensures that we can supply bandwidth to our patrons for using key applications,” Pelaez said.
Up to 500,000 punters attend races at Rosehill and Randwick every year.
ATC also runs Warwick Farm and Canterbury Park racecourses in New South Wales. At this stage, Pelaez said it will review the Wi-Fi network for six months before contemplating a rollout to its other two racecourses.
The Club is also in the midst of a closed circuit TV (CCTV) rollout at Randwick designed to improve security.
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick