New era begins for UK Tote

UK Tote Group, the consortium of racecourse owners formerly known as Alizeti Capital, has completed its acquisition of Tote, horseracing pool betting operation.

The group announced that it had finalised its acquisition from Betfred boss Fred Done, who acquired the formerly state-owned Tote through an auction back in 2011 for a price around £265m. Alizeti paid £20m for a 25 per cent stake in the Tote in May 2018, and the UK Tote Group will now pay an additional £95m to acquire the remaining 75 per cent.

Betfred was expected to continue managing the services of the Tote for the next 12 months. However, the new owner has already set out a strategy to both modernise and revitalise the 90-year old British institution, with plans to develop the brand and improve the customer experience.

Initial plans include launching a new Tote website, as well as forming partnerships to sell Tote products through retail and digital outlets, including overseas pool betting operators.

“Today marks the start of an exciting new era for the Tote,” UK Tote Group chief executive Alex Frost said. “Pool betting plays a leading role in racing jurisdictions around the world and we believe the Tote can play a similar role in the UK, while supporting and growing British racing in the years ahead.

“We have received tremendous encouragement and support from owners, trainers, breeders, racecourses and those in the administration of the sport, for which we are enormously grateful,” added Frost.

In addition to contributing to the Horserace Betting Levy, the UK Tote Group has confirmed that it has signed a new agreement with Britbet which will operate the Tote across 55 British racecourses, taking over ownership from Betfred. It is expected that this will see the Tote contribute a minimum of £50m to the sport over the next seven years.

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