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June 03, 2011

Comments

john parkes

I don`t know any details of this winning bid yet but one important reason for supporting the alternative offer by Martin Broughton and his associates was that racing would benefit directly in a similar way that it does now from the Levy on bookmakers. If there is not an arrangement similar or better (which bearing in mind the parsimony demonstrated by the bookmakers at the moment matters greatly) then racing will die of funding starvation. Personnel training, veterinary research, breeders` premiums and other non-thoroughbred horse activities outside racing have benefited greatly from Levy funding. Without it there will be dangers to main and peripheral activities, some of which might not continue.

Stephen Gash

Was it a case of "Back'ander" Betfred?

Horseracing in England is finished. Blackmailed by bookies.

Ricardo's Ghost

Wasn't there a £400m offer for the Tote 2 years ago?

Observer

Typical 'privatisation'. Quick buck and then the income to racing is lost for ever. Well done Cam and co.

Matthew Davis

I had twenty quid on Ladbrokes winning.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

The State may be good at running some things such as the NHS which should never be put into private "for profit" hands but there was no justification for running a "Bookies". I am glad to see it sold off.

john parkes

Martin,
The State neither owned nor ran the Tote. It was originally put together as a private venture with no public money involved. Together with the Levy paid on bookmakers` turnover it funded, for example, such things as the Jockey Training School, courses for those opting to work in Studs on the breeding side, grants to non-thoroughbred horse and pony societies to improve breeding standards, veterinary research, as well as contributions to prizemoney and matters more closely involved in racing. However in the negotiations to try to protect these and other aspects of racing, aimed at helping to preserve this country`s pre-eminence, the owners of the Tote thought it would help the Labour Government to arrive at an equitable solution by including the Tote in the package. Legislation was introduced and as a result the government ended up as owners of the Tote which they then decided to sell, the Treasury being the main beneficiary!
That is water under the bridge but many of us (I am a racehorse breeder) hoped the Tote would not find its way into the hands of the bookies as unless they are tightly screwed down, racing will lose out. An early bid by racing interests to buy the Tote from Labour for £400M was turned down as insufficient. Since the economic crisis struck there is a drive to sell at whatever can be made out of it and this sale to a bookie for £265M is the result. You can understand why we are a little nervous at prospects for the future.

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