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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 The technology is outdated and frequently breaks down.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...

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