The UK racing industry is considering the launch of a tote alternative to Betfred’s monopoly when their exclusive rights expire in 2018. Betfred currently holds exclusive race pool betting rights in the UK, but this is due to expire in 2018 and The Jockey Club and Racecourse Media Group are considering launching a rival business.

Racing stakeholders, which include several interested parties, have created a steering group to consider the possibilities available to them, including potential plans for a new business. Stakeholders have reportedly been holding meetings with technology providers and international race betting companies. They have also invited other racing organisations and bookmakers to participate in the discussions.

“Racecourses are beginning to explore a range of options for what happens when the current Tote exclusive license expires and that will include discussions across the sport as part of that process,” commented a spokesperson for Racecourse Media Group.

“Racecourses want racing to have a pool betting service that delivers for racegoers, punters and the sport.”

The new service would launch in 2018 and would offer new pool games and services for 60 racecourses and retail bookmakers in the UK. Betfred gained exclusive rights to offer race pool betting services when it acquired Tote in 2011. The racing industry tried to compete to acquire the Tote when it was being sold; however the Labour Government would not consider a different buyer.

The racing industry denied that their plan is due to the fact that they were denied the business in the past and insisted they are looking to improve and modernise the service.

“We think that a racing owned Tote would return more money to racing as well as revitalise a product which is looking rather old and tired now,” said sources close to the racing industry.