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UK Tote Group agrees seven-year deal with Tote Ireland

29th April 2020 12:14 pm GMT

Irish racing authority Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has approved a new seven-year strategic alliance between Tote Ireland and the UK Tote Group.

Beginning January 2021, the agreement will see increased liquidity in Irish racing pools, with the UK Tote to operate Tote Ireland’s digital business, allowing Tote Ireland to concentrate on building a stronger on-course presence in Ireland.

They will also work together on the joint international distribution and promotion of Tote betting on Irish and British racing.

“The alignment of Tote Ireland with the UK Tote Group provides a sustainable long-term foundation and secures a modern and progressive future for one of the most traditional and valued elements of Irish racing,” said Horse Racing Ireland chairman Nicky Hartery.

“This alliance will produce a new offering that will be attractive to international operators and will maximise turnover on Irish racing through new and existing business channels. On behalf of the board of Horse Racing Ireland, I want to thank the management teams at HRI, Tote Ireland and the UK Tote Group for their expertise and diligence in making this happen.”

Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh commented: “Tote Ireland has always enjoyed a strong relationship with the racecourses in Ireland and has been a keen supporter and sponsor, as well as a trusted betting service for Irish racegoers for generations.

“However, punters’ habits have changed and that has led to a steady decline in the on-course turnover of Tote Ireland, a situation exacerbated this year through the loss of major festival meetings as a result of COVID-19. This has greatly impacted the ability of Tote Ireland to develop the products necessary to compete in the digital off-course arena and one of the crucial attractions of this alliance is that it will allow Tote Ireland to develop a joint offering with the UK Tote Group which will be highly attractive to international markets.

“This will greatly increase liquidity in Irish racing markets, increase the choice available to punters and allow Tote Ireland to maintain its vital role in Irish racing.”

UK Tote Group chief executive Alex Frost said: “We are delighted to be announcing this alliance with Tote Ireland. Both organisations are woven into the fabric of racing and bring local and international Tote pool betting together across 85 racecourses in Ireland and Great Britain, and nearly 2,000 race meetings a year."

Frost said that the company will work with the Tote Ireland team to bring innovation and creative thinking to how pool betting is presented to racing fans, both on-course and through off-course digital channels.

"We have already made great strides since acquiring the UK Tote six months ago, including the launch of a new website, the return of Tote Ten to Follow and growth in significant international partnerships," added Frost. "There remains much work to do but together we have great people with the necessary skills, resources and determination to ensure both Tote Ireland and the UK Tote have a bright future.”

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