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World Pool Smashes Record with £168 Million in Bets at Royal Ascot

Horses Racing to a FinishThe World Pool, which brings together punters from more than 20 countries around the globe into a single fund, has reported record turnover from the Royal Ascot meeting.

The pool, first dreamt up by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and operated by the Tote Group in the UK, amassed a staggering 1.6 billion HKD in betting revenue – that equates to around £168 million.

More than 6 million HKD was wagered on Kyprios to win the Gold Cup – Aidan O’Brien’s horse duly prevailed, while the Coronation Stakes was the most punted-upon race by pool members with 64 million HKD exchanging hands.

There was good news for underdog hunters who had backed Naval Crown to win the Platinum Jubilee Stakes – off at an SP of 33/1, pool backers managed to avail themselves of sizable odds of 56.55 on the outsider.

First launched at Royal Ascot in 2020, the World Pool had grown to incorporate 17 different days of racing in the UK and Ireland in 2021, and that number will be repeated this year with the addition of new bet types like trebles and exacta.

The chief executive of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, has long spoken of the benefits of pooled betting, and he has been delighted by the response to the World Pool.

“I have been advocating for international commingling since 2007, so the positive response from bettors and racing jurisdictions to this important innovation in pool betting has been incredibly beneficial for all involved, resulting in greater exposure for British and Irish racing and their major race meetings,” he said.

Tote Group Moves Back Into Profit

Wooden Cubes with Green Up Arrows

The Tote Group have revealed in their annual accounts that they have been profitable for the first time since acquiring the tote from Betfred in 2019.

They saw a rise of a whopping 43% in tote bets in 2021, while their EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) went from a £3.8 million loss to a £3.6 million profit in the period to September 2021.

In line with other UK-facing betting operators, the Tote Group have also paid into the levy fund to help finance horse racing – £6.9 million has been handed over as part of a seven-year plan to donate £50 million to the sport.

The firm’s director of corporate affairs, Susannah Gill, said:

“In our second financial year as owners of the Tote the UK host pool flow grew 40%, with the UK Tote Group becoming profitable as set out in our long-term plans. We remain focused on investing in the business to ensure strong further growth.”