Jacob Curciel at this year's Betting on Sports conference

OPTIMA system helps independents compete on high street

Jacob Curciel at this year's Betting on Sports conference
Jacob Curciel at this year’s Betting on Sports conference

Independent bookmakers in the UK have been praising the Spanish company OPTIMA for giving them the tools to compete with high street corporate bookmakers and backing up the product with high end customer service.

OPTIMA has built a strong UK and international presence by supplying and maintaining one of the most advanced and independent electronic point of sale (EPOS) products on the bookmaking market.

EPOS is, of course, at the heart of any retail bookmaker’s business, and it is essential that products of this type offer a wide range of markets, speed and reliability, advantages provided by the OPTIMA multichannel gaming suite (MGS) which includes the renowned Margin Maker 2 system. Seville-based OPTIMA acquired the required IP rights for Margin Maker 2 from GTECH more than two years ago and in that time OPTIMA revisited the architecture and refreshed it in respect of technology and product capabilities.

North-West based independent bookmaker David Pluck is one of the enthusiastic users. Half a year after installation throughout its 40-betting shop estate across the North West of England, founder David Pluck says that the OPTIMA system has exceeded his expectations in terms of business improvement and efficiency, reliability, costs and intuitive operation.

Pluck switched to the system after an unsatisfactory experience with a competitive product, and observed: “The EPOS system – in several ways analogous to a till in a supermarket and just as critical – is the essential element in any betting shop. It has to provide not only a range of betting markets, but must be fast, reliable and easy to operate by shop staff.

“If there’s a glitch, the business suffers, and the system must therefore be seamlessly supported by a backup system and the availability of immediate technical support from the supplier. We have found that the OPTIMA Serverless EPOS system answers all of these requirements, has a wider range of bets and has delivered monetary savings to the business and lower installation costs.”

Pluck pointed out that these factors are important for a bookmaker competing with major plc rivals on the High Street. He added that the OPTIMA system takes up less space at shop level and is immediately attended by technical staff.

Emergency support is via a 4G system in case that broadband internet is down, that kicks in automatically and so seamlessly that it is barely noticeable. And if required OPTIMA technical staff are on call and carry out site visits.

“OPTIMA, from the chief executive down, is remarkably responsive to any calls,” Pluck observed.

OPTIMA took over a wide group of the Margin Maker 2 customers from GTECH in 2014 and has built up an impressive list of clients that includes the Bookmakers Technology Consortium (BTC), a co-operative of independent bookmakers operating over 350 betting shops in the UK and Ireland. OPTIMA retail customers represent more than 4,500 outlets, casinos and shops worldwide.

BTC director Howard Chisholm characterised the OPTIMA system as “undoubtedly the ‘Rolls Royce’ of EPOS systems,” and the product is popular with bookmakers.

Jacob Curciel, chief executive of OPTIMA, explained that his company is intent on expansion in the retail, web and mobile channels through direct sales and support to bookmakers, and the licensing of its multichannel gaming and sportsbetting platform to the global sports betting and gaming industry.

He added: “We’re very pleased with the business generated and the level of operator satisfaction so far, but there is clearly considerable future potential for this cost effective EPOS product, one of the verticals of the Multichannel Gaming Suite and that presents more opportunities for us.”

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