Ascot Racecourse in the UK has unveiled plans to introduce its own pool betting operation in partnership with Betfred-owned Totepool.
The new ‘AscotBet’ service will launch next summer with support from Totepool’s systems, infrastructure and liquidity, under a five-year agreement between the two parties.
Betfred currently holds a seven-year licence to run pool betting in Great Britain, but this will expire in July 2018 and racecourses will have to take responsibility for managing their own on-course service offerings.
In a statement confirming the new service, Ascot said: “AscotBet and Totepool will continue to explore collaborations with betting operators around the world to maximise liquidity for mutual benefit as the globalisation of pool betting develops.”
Guy Henderson, chief executive of Ascot, added: “AscotBet’s first priority is to provide the very best service and experience that we can to our 600,000 annual racegoers, 300,000 of whom join us for the five days of Royal Ascot and place around 1.5 million pool bets.
“AscotBet’s customer service, supported by Totepool’s proven systems, will deliver this.
“In addition, and importantly, we will also continue to provide the UK’s off-course customers with access to the liquidity available on our races through the Tote Direct service, which is offered in the vast majority of the UK’s high street betting shops and through the remote channels of the major betting providers.”
The launch of AscotBet means that Ascot will not feature in a rival operation that is being put together by the majority of other racecourses in the UK.
Reflecting on the new launch, Betfred chief executive Fred Done said: “I have no doubt that Totepool, one of the most established pari-mutuels in Europe, will produce a class leading partnership with Ascot for many years to come.”
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