The UK bookmaker Betfred officially ended his stint as the owner of the Tote, the venerable betting horseracing pool operation of the nation.
The UK Tote Group, formerly known as Alizeti Capital, revealed on Thursday that it had completed its purchase of Betfred director Fred Done’s pool betting operation, which purchased the formerly state-owned Tote by way of an auction back in 2011.
In May 2018, Alizeti paid £ 20 m for a 25% share in the Tote and the UK Tote Group will now pay £ 95 m for the remaining 75%. Former Merrill Lynch trader Alex Frost, head of the UK Tote Group, said the milestone “marks the start of an exciting new era for the Tote,” which has struggled to retain its relevance in an age in which punters have infinitely more betting options than they did in the heyday of the Tote.
In October 2018, Frost’s group entered into an agreement with Britbet, a consortium of 55 UK racecourses that ensured that the Tote would (a) have a presence on UK tracks during the next seven years and (b) serve as the worldwide betting pool operator for international mixing with the Hong Kong Jockey Club likes.
The news on Thursday came a week after UK media announced that Michael Spencer was taking a 10 percent stake in the UK Tote Group at an estimated £ 10 m price. Spencer claims that the Tote, which currently only has a 3-4 percent stake in the UK betting market, can be strengthened by a combination of information and software improvements that include the launch of a new Tote website.
Frost said Thursday he was thankful to Betfred and Fred Done “for their invaluable help over the last 18 months.” Done said he wished Frost and his team “all the best and they have been very fair to deal with.” Done wasn’t always so nice to racing luminaries, having previously characterised Betfred’s racing partnership as “broken.”