Betfred buys Tote

Betfred

BetFred are one of the world's biggest sports-betting brands; it now appears that they can add yet another string to their bow, as they confirm an agreement with the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that gives them ownership of the previously state-owned Tote bookmaker.

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The Tote was the only organisation within United Kingdom horse racing that was allowed to operate pool betting; it was sold off in a deal that went through for a figure of £265 million. Despite this, the Tote also allowed bets on other sports, such as football

The Tote operated 517 off-course betting shops and were a notable presence on all 60 race courses within the United Kingdom.

The deal means that BetFred have secured an exclusive license, which runs for a total of seven years, to operate pool betting at races courses within the United Kingdom. They will pay an initial sum of £150 million, which will later be followed by a further £115 million (with interest) – this gives BetFred access to all of the Tote's business interests.

Chief Financial Officer for BetFred Barry Nightingale said: “We are very pleased to have been selected by government to be the new and long-term owners of the Tote,”

“I am absolutely confident that, working with Tote management and employees, we will together be able to grow the business, develop the pool and, through its success, be able to return more to the racing industry.” added Mr Nightingale, who is also the Chairman for BetFred's Tote Racing Development Board.

The deal has been welcomed by the United Kingdom's racing industry, due to the fact that it sees it received at least £155 million, with BetFred contributing £9 annually after this initial sum.

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