CurbyMcLintock’s Report into the Box Draw process published to bolster transparency in the racing industry

CurbyMcLintock’s Report into the Box Draw process published to bolster transparency in the racing industry

Paul Curby and Scott McLintock

CurbyMcLintock was requested by the Greyhound and Welfare Integrity Commission (GWIC) to conduct a review the Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) box draw and grading process on their behalf.  Click here to access the public report into the Independent Review Into Greyhound Racing NSW Box Draw Process.

Our work and findings did not find evidence of a corrupted box draw or grading system however we did make a number of observations where we thought the processes may be strengthened for improved transparency and stakeholder confidence.

One of the central activities undertaken as part of the review was to complete a data analytics exercise of racing data to identify any evidence of vulnerabilities or the potential to manipulate the box draw process.  Relevant racing data is recorded in a system known as OzChase which is administered by Racing & Wagering Western Australia (RWWA).  

As part of the engagement, CurbyMcLintock was asked to undertake the following:

  • Extract records from the OzChase system for the period 1 January 2016 to 10 March 2021 (the Relevant Period);
  • Review GRNSW documents that articulate the grading process to understand its potential to influence the outcome of a box draw;
  • Conduct interviews and walk-through with appropriate GRNSW staff involved in the grading and box draw process, to understand the box draw process and obtain an understanding of how GRNSW ensures a fair and equitable process for the boxing of greyhounds for a race;
  • Conduct an observation of a box draw process in action to confirm that they are consistent with those described as set out in relevant GRNSW policy documents;
  • Perform relevant tests in the OzChase ‘QUAL’ system to replicate the draw process (e.g., manual draw process);
  • Conduct a data analytics review of the audit logs relating to the box draw process; and
  • Following completion of the data analytics process, select two case studies to review box draw allocations and the relevant process in drawing of these races.

Our analysis confirmed that there were 61,237 races relating to 5,969 meetings that were run during the Relevant Period. 

CurbyMcLintock used proprietary software to conduct our detailed analysis. 

Before doing any detailed analysis, we needed to define and confirm the definition of a ‘redraw’ in the context of a ‘box draw’. 

Our analysis, identified 283 races as a redraw.  We made the following observations, all of which were accompanied with recommendations to address each observation.

Grading Process observations

Observation 1 The OzChase system allows an unlimited amount of redraws to be undertaken
Observation 2 OzChase provides the opportunity to set up a race as a ‘final’ enabling the manual draw function
Observation 3 No formal approval process for a redraw to be undertaken
Observation 4 Lack of governance regarding change requests sent to RWWA
Observation 5 There is no policy setting out guidelines as to how a live manual box draw is to be undertaken for finals and feature races
Observation 6 Recipients of automatic notification email is not fit for purpose
Observation 7 No audit history maintained with regard to changes to the email distribution list receiving notification of redraws
Observation 8 Seeded Reserves Grading Policy presents an opportunity for manipulation
Observation 9 The Grading Process is Susceptible to Human Error
Observation 10 The term Redraw is not defined in the greyhound racing rules

Box Draw observations

Observation 11 No ‘flag’ in the OzChase system to easily identify redraws
Observation 12 No race sequence number contained in email redraw audit data
Observation 13 The majority of redraws contain little or no detail regarding the reason for the redraw
Observation 14 Missing email audit data in OzChase
Observation 15 Box draw ‘type’ captured in OzChase is misleading with regard to amendments made by RWWA representatives
Observation 16 No capability currently in OzChase for a consolation final to allow a manual draw in the system

All of our recommendations were accepted by GWIC with some of these being implemented immediately. The engagement demonstrated the power of data analytics to provide insights into business operations. 

For more detailed information and to review the recommendations relating to all of the observations, please click here to go to the GWIC public box draw report.

About CurbyMcLintock 

CurbyMcLintock is a boutique forensic services firm that helps organisations better manage fraud and compliance risk and respond in a timely manner if things go wrong.  As part of our services, we utilise advanced data analytics to draw insights from disparate data sets to allow decision makers to make informed decisions.    We also utilise data analytics to help drive better compliance outcomes by identifying vulnerabilities and reporting on key compliance risks in real time.  We help selected organisations to automate and optimize routine compliance functions using specialist proprietary software with inbuilt AI, alleviating already pressed compliance staff to concentrate on more serious matters.

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