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Fred wins the Tote sale

It wasn't much of a secret after rumours broke last night but BetFred have today been named as the successful bidder for the UK Tote. Traditionalists will have a bit of a moan but one bid was based on cold, hard cash; the other was based on a lot of hope which ultimately could have seen racing sink even further into the mire. It still puzzles me why people were so wholeheartedly in favour of a bid team which included the likes of Chris 'one race is fixed in Britain every day' Bell who had no problem with his former firm Ladbrokes operating its phone and online operations offshore to dodge tax and levy. Fred's no saint but he has to be admired for the empire he has built.

Betfred named new owners of the Tote

BOOKMAKERS Betfred have won the race to buy the Tote and on Friday morning signed a contract with the government to buy the state-owned betting operator for a total of £265 million.

Net proceeds will be £180m, which will be split 50-50 between the government and racing.

Betfred, led by executive chairman Fred Done, beat off competition from former BHB chairman Sir Martin Broughton's Sports Investment Partners (SIP).



There's a big lump sum of cash upfront for the industry, let's hope this time they spend it prudently rather than spending it all once leaving nothing behind when the economy slows again.

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