Friday 13th to provide pool betting boost despite standstill deal

Friday 13th to provide pool betting boost despite standstill deal

Monday, July 9, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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This Friday had been billed as the launch date for the Britbet brand

Friday 13 July may not be taking on the expected level of significance for UK racegoers, but it will still be a key date for the progression of pool-betting in the country.

That’s the view of Britbet chairman Neil Goulden, despite the ‘standstill’ agreement reached with the incumbent Tote last month, set to run through to the end of October.

From Friday onwards (13 July), all revenue generated from pool betting at the 55 tracks aligned to Britbet, less costs including payments to Betfred, will be allocated to the racecourses through the original Britbet shareholder agreements.

Goulden told Racing Post: "July 13 has long been carved into our diaries as the long-awaited key date when our partner racecourses would finally begin to realise the ambition of controlling the way in which pool betting is delivered and – critically – securing the revenue streams that flow from that control for the benefit of the sport.

"Management of the on-course pool betting operation for the benefit of racecourses, racegoers and racing has always been a key strategic objective for Britbet and on a phased basis from 13 July through to the end of October, that objective will be wholly achieved. We’re very excited about working with the racecourses to maximise the potential we believe is now available."

Headlined by racing at Newmarket, 13 July was supposed to be the big launch date for the Britbet brand, the pool-betting operation backed by 55 of the UK’s 57 racecourses.

However, the arrival of Alizeti, the Alex Frost-led consortium who bought a 25% stake in the Tote with an option to purchase the remaining 75%, has altered (or not in this case) the immediate outlook for horse racing punters.

Despite the expiration of Betfred’s seven-year monopoly on Thursday (12 July), horse racing punters will notice no obvious differences as the Tote brand will remain the racing pools provider at the country’s racecourses.

Anyone placing a pool bet at Newmarket, or even York, Chepstow or Ffos Las, will be confronted by staff wearing the familiar Totepool uniforms, and money will go into the Tote’s pools through Totepool equipment, but the staff will actually be working for Britbet.

Totally Gaming says: The danger with the introduction of another pool betting operation in competition with the Tote is that the subsequent loss in liquidity would lead to two weak pools rather than one strong one. The extension of these discussions, facilitated by the stand-still agreement, suggests that both parties are open to a collaboration in the best interests of the sport.

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