The Tote to Lose Its UK Racecourse Monopoly

February 10, 2018 February 10, 2018 David Nugent

It as way back in 1928 that the Tote was launched in the UK and not many people know is as Sir Winston Churchill who played a major hand in setting up that pool betting system that has been at the forefront of on course betting throughout Great Britain for almost 90 years!

However, back in 2011 in an attempt to raise much needed funds, the UK Government decided to sell off that state owned Tote betting operation to one of the largest independent bookmaking chains in the UK, that being BetFred.

That deal was signed, sealed and delivered, but it was decided that BetFred would only be allowed to have a complete monopoly on Tote betting until the 12th of July 2018. As part of that deal, BetFred also took ownership of a large number of Tote branded betting shops and betting offices in towns and cities across the UK along with each of the Tote branded betting shops at racecourses too.

However, as the clock is now ticking down to the 12th of July 2018, many UK racecourses have chosen to ditch their association with the Tote and will be launching a brand new pool betting service from the 13th of July 2018, that being one that will become known as Britbet!

The main reason why many UK racecourses have chosen to launch this new pool betting is of course as an added revenue stream.

54 UK Racecourses to Adopt Britbet

In total there are 54 UK racecourses that are going to be launching the Britbet pool betting services at their respective racecourses in July of this year, and that will of course see BetFred being forced to close down their Tote betting shops at those racecourses.

Some of the biggest and most visited racecourses have signed up to Britbet with Goodwood, York, Aintree and Cheltenham being four of them. However, Ascot and Chester will not be adopting the Britbet pool betting service and will be carrying on as normal.

Due to the loss of so many on course betting shops and the removal of the Tote betting services at those racecourses too, BetFred have decided to pull their sponsorship of some major races at several of them including but not limited to the Ebor Handicap at York Cambridgeshire and also the Cesarewitch at Newmarket

It will of course remain to be seen if Britbet does strike a chord with punters across the UK, for pool betting via the Tote has not been what you could ever describe as a popular type of betting opportunity, and below I will enlighten you on why many punters have chosen to shy away from placing Tote related bets and wagers over the many years that the has been on offer to them.

Understanding Tote and Britbet Pool Betting

The one thing that those 54 racecourses will be hoping for is that the betting public does embrace the Britbet pool betting services, for the profits from it will of course be helping those local racecourses, rather than simply swelling the profits of a bookmaker.

However, there is always going to be one major disadvantage from most punters point of view in regards to any type of pool betting opportunities they can choose to make use of at any racecourse, and that is a percentage of the pool of cash that punters bets and wagers are fed into is taken away by the operator of that betting pool as a charge for offering that service.

In fact, it was only last year that the percentage of the pool of bets placed was increased up to 19.25% and as such nearly 20% of the pool money is now away by the operators of the service, with the remainder being split up and given out to the winners of each pool!

One thing that does need to be looked into and developed fairy rapidly is some form of new bet, that Britbet can offer to punters that will give them some form of an incentive to place bets into the pool, maybe a new jackpot type bet that allows punters to wager a fairly small amount but to have the chance of winning big.

However, it will be a case of wait and see in regards to Britbet does take off, however as the funds raised do help local racecourses it will hopefully be something that many punters visiting a racecourse may be prepared to embrace over time.

About The Author

David Nugent


Hi, my name is David and I am the chief editor of, I am proud to bring you all latest legal matters concerning the sports betting industry , I am a keen sports fan, dabbling in a few odd bets on my beloved Everton FC

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