Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 22 April 2018

Betfred win Tote battle

Bookmakers Betfred won the auction to buy the Tote on Friday after the UK government backed a takeover deal worth around £265m (€300m).

The agreement signals the end of a long-running saga over the planned privatisation of the betting group, which employs more than 4,000 staff and injects around half of its profits back into the British racing industry.

Betfred beat off competition from Sport Investments Partners, a consortium led by former British Horseracing Authority chairman Martin Broughton, understood to have had the support of the industry.

Betfred was co-founded by current chief executive Fred Done as a single shop in 1967 and now has around 840 betting shops, with £4bn (€4.5bn) in bets made each year.

Excluding debt and pension contributions, the value to be paid to the UK government is more than £180m (€202m).

Britain's gambling and racing minister John Penrose said his government had "bent over backwards to deliver a good deal for racing".

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