Skip to main content

How much is the UK tote really worth?

This week Betfair has purchased a US racing network and tote pool company for just £35m. The Tasmanian TAB, a small but innovative tote monopoly, is up for sale with estimates being between AU$30 and $80 million (£13-35m).

Let's look at the UK tote. It's not a monopoly. Day-to-day race pools (win, place, exacta, trifecta) are pitiful, the only popular products are the Placepot and Scoop6.

The Tote has a lot of shops, some of which are rather dated or closing down. It has a bookmaking arm, but who doesn't these days, and how many of these customers are genuinely loyal without accts elsewhere?

The Tote now links in with most UK bookies, which means big pools but gives away most of their margin as well. The technology is outdated and frequently breaks down. A tote should be able to show approximate dividends the instant the horses cross the line. A recent bet of mine at Ascot, a winning trifecta, took 20 minutes to display a dividend. How do they calculate the divs - with pen and paper and an abacus?? The pools are pathetic and it still takes ages!!

Aussie totes hold millions and can return dividends within seconds. The tote here is so far behind it is ridiculous.

£300 million you reckon? Tell him he's dreaming! You'd be lucky to get £20 million... and even then I'd expect shareholders of the buying firm to be up in arms...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's all gone Pete Tong at Betfair!

The Christmas Hurdle from Leopardstown, a good Grade 2 race during the holiday period. But now it will go into history as the race which brought Betfair down. Over £21m at odds of 29 available on Voler La Vedette in-running - that's a potential liability of over £500m. You might think that's a bit suspicious, something's fishy, especially with the horse starting at a Betfair SP of 2.96. Well, this wasn't a horse being stopped by a jockey either - the bloody horse won! Look at what was matched at 29. Split that in half and multiply by 28 for the actual liability for the layer(s). (Matched amounts always shown as double the backers' stake, never counts the layers' risk). There's no way a Betfair client would have £600m+ in their account. Maybe £20 or even £50m from the massive syndicates who regard(ed) Betfair as safer than any bank, but not £600m. So the error has to be something technical. However, rumour has it, a helpdesk reply (not gospel, natur

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Wimbledon preview - women

Unfortunately this year I don't have the time to write comprehensive Slam previews anymore so I'll sum this one up pretty quickly - it's all about Serena. 1 - Serena Williams. In incredible form. Since bombing out in R1 of the French Open last year, she has lost just three times - to Kerber (Cincinnati QF), to Stephens (Aus Open QF) and to Azarenka (Doha final). She has won three of the last four Wimbledon finals plus the Olympic gold last year where she dropped just 17 games in six rounds, against opponents which included four former world #1s. All that considered though, I can't have her at 1/2 (1.50) on Betfair. She just has to be opposed. I can't put a finger on who is going to beat her, but I have to side with her prospective opponents. If you want a smokey to put some small change on, try Maria Kirilenko. Her record in the Slam isn't so great but it has been improving - a best result of R4 last year beaten by finalist Radwanska 7-5 in the third, and