The UK Tote Group, the consortium of racing-backed investors formerly known as Alizeti, confirmed that after announcing its purchase of the UK’s pool betting company for horse racing, it will begin a’ new era for the Tote,’ making the group the sole owner.
Since detailing its product development plans, the Group has concentrated on modernising the 90-year-old British racecourse institution, including the launch of a new Tote website and the return of Tote Ten to follow in a fresh, modern format.
Alex Frost, UK Tote Group Chief Executive, commented: “Today marks the start of an exciting new era for the Tote. 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. I would like to personally thank Fred Done and his team at Betfred for their invaluable help over the last 18 months.
“I would also like to recognise and thank all those across the industry who have been instrumental in our journey to acquire the Tote. 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.”
The UK Tote Group has announced, in addition to contributing to the Horserace Betting Levy, that it has signed a new Britbet agreement that will run the Tote across 55 British racecourses, taking over Betfred’s management. It is estimated that in the next seven years, the Tote will contribute at least £ 50 million to the sport.
Frost continued: “Our partnership with Britbet and its member racecourses is now well established, and we look forward to working even more closely with Neil Goulden, Nigel Roddis and the Britbet team to deliver an innovative and enhanced pool betting experience across the Britbet racecourses.
“We also look forward to continuing to operate the pool at Ascot Racecourse for Bet with Ascot and building on the success of World Pool earlier this year with them and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, who will continue to be one of our most important commingling partners from the strategic perspective of the Tote’s global connectivity.
“The racing world has huge respect for British racing and we are very optimistic about its future. As the new stewards of this iconic British institution, we are focused on remaining true to the founding principles of the Tote, while modernising the business to secure its future relevance.”
The announcement this morning sees Betfred end his relationship with the Tote, an asset that the bookmaker bought for £ 265 million through a UK government auction in 2011. Betfred was expected to continue managing the services of the Tote for the next 12 months.
Fred Done, Founder and Chief Executive of Betfred, added: “Through our ownership of the Tote we have made a significant contribution to racing over the last eight years. We wish Alex Frost and his team all the best and they have been very fair to deal with.”
Britbet Chairman Neil Goulden, Britbet’s who will now manage the pool betting outlets across 55 British racecourses said: : “We welcome today’s news which provides clarity on the future of the Tote. We look forward to continuing to work with the UK Tote Group team to deliver the innovation and investment that will allow pool betting to flourish and, in turn, serve the sport we love. Along with the new technology we have rolled out across the 55 Britbet racecourses since July last year, today’s news gives us the scope to develop the racecourse experience for customers.”
The UK Tote Group, previously known as Alizeti, has undergone a significant management reshuffle over the past 18 months in its effort to revamp its retail and online portfolio as well as execute ‘ ambitious growth plans. ‘ The group is said to have engaged in ‘ constructive conversations ‘ on the development of global collaborations, which will concentrate on the selling of Tote goods through revisions.
Eamonn Wilmott, UK Tote Group Chairman, added: “I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has been part of helping us get here. As well as supporting British racing, we want the Tote to make an ever-increasing contribution to ‘UK Plc’. We have our headquarters in Wigan and we aim to expand further, as well as building the Tote’s global connections.
“We have assembled a top-class executive team with a rare combination of passion, experience and expertise, who are entirely focused on ensuring the Tote has a bright future. We’re at the start of our journey to make the Tote into a successful, socially responsible business which truly cares about its customers and staff and gives back to the sport we love – a renewed Tote in which we can all take great pride.”
Nicholas Cooper, Chairman of the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), concluded: “We are proud to be investors in the Tote. The ROA is here to support the interests of racehorse owners throughout the UK and we are delighted to see the Tote is now owned by people who care passionately about the future of British racing.
“We believe a rejuvenated Tote will be of significant long-term benefit to the finances of British racing which is a positive development for racehorse owners and the 85,000 people who work in the sport. We would encourage everyone in British racing to back the Tote.”