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Ascot Racecourse and UK Tote Group commit to continue to grow pool betting together

Support and development of World Pool at the heart of the agreement

Ascot Racecourse and the Tote have signed a new agreement that will strengthen and grow pool betting in the United Kingdom.

The agreement, which commenced on January 1, 2024, ensures all pool bets placed on racing from Ascot Racecourse will continue to support liquidity in the United Kingdom pool, which has been operated by the UK Tote Group since October of 2019. This includes bets placed on-course under the Bet with Ascot brand, remotely via Tote.co.uk and through bookmakers and third-party partners.

Over the last four years, Ascot Racecourse and the Tote have built a positive partnership. Pool betting on racing from Ascot Racecourse is growing year-on-year and both parties are committed to accelerating this under the new agreement. The growth is due to both the quality and popularity of the racing action on the track and the innovations being brought to pool betting in the United Kingdom, which are appealing to a growing number of racing fans betting on the sport. Since 2020, remote B2C turnover (British and Irish customers betting on Tote.co.uk/ie) on racing from Ascot Racecourse has more than trebled while overseas turnover (international customers) is up 22% over the same period with the help of World Pool.

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Internationally, Ascot Racecourse has been central to World Pool since its inauguration at Royal Ascot in June of 2019. The Royal Meeting proved a successful template for the World Pool model, whereby Tote operators from 28 countries commingle pools, hosted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, to significantly increase liquidity and enhance the betting experience. With World Pool days on British and Irish race-days having grown to 17 days in 2023, the sport is benefiting from increased financial income through higher media rights payments, while racing fans enjoy deeper, more stable pools and enhanced competitive returns. For example, a £1 bet with the Tote on every winner on British and Irish World Pool days in 2023 paid £263 more than the industry starting price with the Tote win overround at 109% versus an industry starting price overround of 122%.

Ascot Racecourse, along with other British Racecourses and the Tote, will be working closely with the Hong Kong Jockey Club to help ensure the continued growth of World Pool in 2024. This will be achieved via racecourses making the race fields on World Pool days as competitive as possible and thus attractive to bet on while the Tote is continuing to improve the value and experience of pool betting for racing fans.

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“We are delighted have a new agreement in place with the Tote that will allow us to build on what has been achieved domestically and internationally over the last four years,” the Chief Executive for Ascot Racecourse, Alastair Warwick, said. “As one of the original architects of World Pool, alongside the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Tote, we are excited to support the further development of World Pool to ensure both racing fans and the sport benefit from it. We were thrilled to see that Royal Ascot produced five of the top six World Pool days by total turnover in 2023 and also that QIPCO King George Day performed so well after some targeted race planning changes. We will ensure that Ascot Racecourse’s top-class racing continues to be at the forefront of British racing’s efforts to see that the sport is watched and bet on by a growing domestic and global audience.”

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“The Tote is immensely proud to be a partner of Ascot Racecourse, which hosts some of the most prestigious race-days in the sporting calendar,” the Chief Executive for UK Tote Group, Alex Frost, said. “This new agreement ensures Ascot Racecourse and the Tote are perfectly positioned to work together to achieve a strong United Kingdom pool, alongside the continued development of World Pool, which are crucial elements to the future financial sustainability of the sport. I would personally like to thank Alastair and his excellent team at Ascot Racecourse for their ongoing support and everyone at the Tote looks forward to continuing our partnership with Ascot Racecourse over the next five years.”

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