The UK Tote Group has revealed new innovations for bettors as British horse racing resumes today.
UK.- British horse racing resumes behind closed doors in Newcastle today (Monday June 1) after more than two months of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To coincide with the reopening of racing events, the UK Tote Group has unveiled a range of innovations to welcome sports bettors back.
The Tote will bring back its Tote Ten to Follow competition, in which players pay £5 to select horses and stables for a chance to win 70 per cent of the total pool. There will be monthly prizes on offer from June to September, and a free-to-play contest with a top prize of £5,000.
New features from the Tote include the ability for players to modify their stables up until the first day of Royal Ascot on June 16, and during a so-called ‘transfer window’ in August, depending on potential changes to the horse racing fixture list.
Players can now create silks for their stables, and generate private leagues to compete with friends, family and colleagues.
The Tote has also created a new Pool Guarantee Service (PGS) to offset the reduction in pool volumes caused by the absence of retail betting shops and on-course betting. The PGS will replace some of the lost liquidity with a similar spread of activity, which the Tote says will allow customers to bet in robust pools with more stable prices.
UK Tote Group Chief Executive, Alex Frost, said: “Like so many people, all of us at the Tote are excited to see the return of British racing.
“Despite the challenging environment it will bring great cheer when the starting stalls open for the first time at Newcastle Racecourse on Monday and we can all enjoy racing on these shores for the first time since March.
“We are clearly in unprecedented times and this calls for all of us to look at new and innovative ways to enhance the enjoyment of watching and betting on racing. The Tote stands shoulder to shoulder with everyone in the sport and we are playing our part in growing the appeal of pool betting and the role of the Tote in supporting the sport.”
Turnover at Newcastle today is expected to beat all usual expectations for an all-weather meeting in the UK. Betfair’s Barry Orr told the Racing Post he predicted today would beat the previous record for betting volume, which was set at the inaugural AW Finals Day on Good Friday 2013.
On-course bookmakers meanwhile are still out of action during what would normally be peak season. The Federation of Racecourse Bookmakers has said it has been lobbying MPs for tracks to be opened up at the same time as pubs and has been sourcing personal protective equipment for its members in anticipation.
At the end of April the Tote Group struck a seven-year deal to provide off-course Tote betting in Ireland. Irish horse racing will resume next Monday, June 8.