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Tote promise to match SP for every race at the Cheltenham Festival

The Tote Guarantee will be available on course throughout the Cheltenham Festival
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Cheltenham racegoers will be able to take advantage of the Tote's new price guarantee next week after the Tote, Jockey Club Racecourses and Britbet agreed the offer would be available on course for all four days of the meeting.

The guarantee, which went live on the Tote's website last month, ensures the Tote will always match the industry starting price if the dividend is lower than the SP.

It has not been available on course at every meeting since the offer's launch, although it has been trialled at a number of fixtures where the Tote claim it has generated an uplift in turnover not just in the win pools but has also had a knock-on effect to other pool bets.

It is understood there had been some resistance to the trial being extended to the festival but that has now been resolved.

The UK Tote Group said the customer research they carried out before taking over ownership of the operator from Betfred last autumn had shown that the Tote was regarded as providing poor value to punters.

Director of communications and corporate affairs Susannah Gill said: "With Tote Guarantee we're looking after the smaller customer who now has a genuine alternative, especially in the last few minutes before a race when the market is fairly settled. 

"With the Tote they are guaranteed the starting price but can also enjoy the upside of the pool price if it pays bigger."

The Tote makes a 19.25 per cent deduction before paying out win dividends but the offer, which will be available to stakes of up to £500, is bound to reduce the Tote's profits if results go against them.

Nevertheless, Gill said the Tote's long-term future depended on it being regarded as good value by customers.

Susannah Gill: Guarantee "crucial" in making Tote more attractive

She said: "Tote Guarantee provides greater value for customers which is crucial to making pool betting an attractive option for customers and therefore ensuring the long-term success of the Tote."

Nigel Roddis, managing director of Britbet who provide on-course pool betting at 55 British tracks, said the extension of the offer to Cheltenham racegoers would help them gauge its wider impact.

"The competition for racegoers betting spend is magnified at this event, so it makes sense to extend the trial of this initiative," he said. 

"The festival provides a valuable opportunity to continue our 'test and learn' approach on behalf of our racecourse partners."

The guarantee will not only be available at Cheltenham but also all the other courses racing over the four days.


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The competition for racegoers betting spend is magnified at this event, so it makes sense to extend the trial of this initiative

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