The long-protracted deal that would see the Together for the Tote group take over the running of the Tote from Betfred has finally been completed.
The consortium of investors and racing stakeholders operating under the banner of the UK Tote Group will finally take over the reins from Fred Done’s firm in the winter, with formal plans of how they plan to develop the Tote brand expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.
They had acquired a 24% stake in the Tote back in May 2018 for a cool £20 million, and while Betfred retained the rights until October of this year the UK Tote Group has now completed the purchase with a £95 million top up on their initial investment.
According to sources, there are more than 160 individuals that have invested in the Group, including a majority involved in the sport already as owners and breeders. And in news that will help to pump some much-needed funds into UK racing, it was revealed by the Racing Post that one investor is the cash-rich China Horse Club.
The UK Tote Group’s chief executive, Alex Frost, said:
“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.”
Hopes for a New World Pool
The outfit formerly known as the Alizeti Group will be launching a new website in the near future and bringing back the popular Tote Ten to Follow feature, as well as looking at ways to boost the amount of money being paid into the prize fund each week.
The UK Tote Group is made up of Alizeti, the Tote and the rival pool betting brand Britbet, who have agreed to join forces with the new enterprise to ensure that there is a focus on making one Tote product a success.
Britbet’s partner racecourses will also benefit, with a deal worth £50 million over seven years available to them.
One of the main hopes for the new Tote launch is the return of the World Pool format which proved so popular at Royal Ascot earlier in the year.
For the first time ever at Royal @Ascot, some bets placed on course with Bet With Ascot were co-mingled into World Pool. Nick Smith – director of racing and communications at Ascot – explains more pic.twitter.com/TjZOFk7vQY
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) 19 June 2019
The support of the Hong Kong Jockey Club ensured worldwide appeal, and would help to produce huge pools that are so beloved by punters. In addition, the ‘Bet with Ascot’ platform will also be rolled out in the future.
“The racing world has huge respect for British racing and we are very optimistic about its future,” said a misty-eyed Frost. “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.”