HRI Signs Long Partnership With Tote Ireland And UK Tote Group

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has signed a new seven-year partnership with Tote Ireland and the UK Tote Group to ensure that Tote’s on-course operation on Irish racecourses continues.

As of 1 January 2021, the UK Tote Group will be running the off-course business of Tote Ireland, allowing Tote Ireland to create a stronger and more agile presence on the course in Ireland.

Horse Racing Ireland chairman Nicky Hartery said: “The alignment of Tote Ireland with the UK Tote Group provides a sustainable long-term foundation and secures a modern and progressive future for one of the most traditional and valued elements of Irish racing.

“This alliance will produce a new offering that will be attractive to international operators and will maximise turnover on Irish racing through new and existing business channels. On behalf of the Board of Horse Racing Ireland, I want to thank the management teams at HRI, Tote Ireland and the UK Tote Group for their expertise and diligence in making this happen.”

Irish racing pools will benefit from dramatically improved liquidity and the agreement will ensure that Tote Ireland continues to be a viable, self-financing enterprise that returns its income to Irish racing.

Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh added: “Tote Ireland has always enjoyed a strong relationship with the racecourses in Ireland and has been a keen supporter and sponsor, as well as a trusted betting service for Irish racegoers for generations.

“However, punters’ habits have changed and that has led to a steady decline in the on-course turnover of Tote Ireland, a situation exacerbated this year through the loss of major festival meetings.

“This has greatly impacted the ability of Tote Ireland to develop the products necessary to compete in the digital off-course arena and one of the crucial attractions of this alliance is that it will allow Tote Ireland to develop a joint offering with the UK Tote Group which will be highly attractive to international markets.”

The announcement sees a newly revived UK Tote Group continuing to broaden the international reach and wagering potential of a redesigned tote.

Through incorporating Sportech Quantum Systems as their new ‘commingling network’ and international racing data provider, the UK Tote Group extended its wagering capabilities this April.

Alex Frost, UK tote group chief executive, concluded: “We are delighted to be announcing this alliance with Tote Ireland. Both organisations are woven into the fabric of racing and bring local and international Tote pool betting together across 85 racecourses in Ireland and Great Britain, and nearly 2,000 race meetings a year.

“We will work with the Tote Ireland team to bring innovation and creative thinking to how pool betting is presented to racing fans, both on course and through off-course digital channels. We have already made great strides since acquiring the UK Tote six months ago, including the launch of a new website, the return of Tote Ten to Follow and growth in significant international partnerships. There remains much work to do but together we have great people with the necessary skills, resources and determination to ensure both Tote Ireland and the UK Tote have a bright future.

“I would like to sincerely thank Nicky Hartery, Brian Kavanagh, Ross Kierans and all involved in making this alliance possible and very much look forward to working together, alongside our international pool betting counterparts in other racing jurisdictions.”