Racetrack-owned Britbet launch delayed

13 June 2018

Britbet, the new pool betting operation backed by 55 UK race tracks, has delayed its launch as it continues talks with the Tote.

The operator was due to take control of racecourse pools on July 13 when the Tote’s seven-year monopoly on pool betting expires.

It is believed there has been disagreement between Britbet’s two biggest shareholders, Jockey Club Racecourses and Arena Racing Company (ARC), as to whether the enterprise should proceed alone or pursue closer co-operation with Betfred-owned Tote.

Britbet’s board unanimously agreed on the delay, which could run until October, at a meeting on Friday.

Britbet chairman Neil Goulden said in a statement that the talks with Tote are illustrative of the company’s vision of maximising investment for partner courses and taking control of pool betting on course.

Goulden added: "With those principles secured, we are able to explore ways in which we may be able to work with an invigorated Tote to deliver the best product and service for our racecourse partners and ultimately for racegoers.

"This agreement is clearly aligned with our 'by racing, for racing' proposition and, thanks to the hard work of the Britbet board and team, I am delighted that we have secured those key aspects which now enable us to consider ways of working in partnership with others."

Last month the Alizeti consortium, led by racehorse owner Alex Frost, struck a deal to purchase an initial 25% share of the Tote, with an option to purchase the remaining 75%.

Speaking to iGamingBusiness last month Alizeti chairman Eamonn Wilmott confirmed talks were ongoing with Britbet but said “everyone around the world is massively keen on there being one pool in the UK and an improved pool.” 

He added: “Everyone is looking for the liquidity in the UK to improve and so we are hopeful that we can work together.”

Related article: Racing consortium strikes £130m Tote deal