Ladbrokes and Coral extend Tote Direct deal
Ladbrokes and Coral have extended their contract with Tote Direct, which channels tote bets made with high street bookmakers into tote pools.
With the addition of the retail estate of the Tote's owners Betfred, it means Tote Direct has the majority of British betting shops covered until at least July 2020. The deal also covers digital channels.
Betfred's exclusive seven-year licence to run pool betting expires in 2018 so the deal shows their ambition to maintain the Tote brand.
It also provides an obstacle to racecourse hopes of engaging with the retail betting sector as they plan to set up a rival pool betting operation, with the need to provide liquidity paramount.
Betfred and Totepool chairman Fred Done said: "I am delighted that we have been able to extend a long-standing relationship and look forward to working with our industry colleagues to offer the official UK Totepool to the majority of UK and Irish betting shops into the future.
"I am also excited at the prospect of our new technology being able to deliver additional international partners and bets, via all available channels."
He added: "I am very pleased that my faith and continued financial investment in racing and the Tote, in excess of £62 million so far in direct contributions to racing since 2011, has delivered us to a position where we can deliver a seamless experience for all customers of the official UK Totepool, and provide the best Tote offer of any tote, worldwide."
Tote Direct was set up in 1992 under the Woodrow Wyatt era at the Tote as a joint venture with Coral.