Update: Tote Sale Subject of Industry Comments


UK Jockey Club Chief says the business should remain independent and not be sold off

Another wave of sharp criticism fell upon the British government for its latest attempt to sell off the state-owned Tote, as the UK Jockey Club CEO Simon Bazalgette, expressed his protest this week. His opposition comes rather late, since the deadline for bids for the bookmaker closes on Dec.10. Some of the reported bidders include Gala Coral Group Ltd, Sportech plc and Betfred Ltd.

According to Bloombergs business news reports, Tote's current profit is ploughed back into racing and amounts to around GBP21 million a year, which is loathe to lose such a subsidy.

Bazalgette told the agency that 'there is value in leaving it independent, because it protects not only racing revenues, but on-shore tax revenues and employment. The risk is if a third party comes in, they could take parts of the business offshore, which would deprive the government of tax -- as a lot of bookmakers have done.'

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