Tote raises £20m to fund ambitious bet on move into football

Shareholders in the Tote are placing a fresh £20m wager on the company’s growth ambitions as it prepares to diversify into Britain’s vast football betting market next year.

Sky News has learnt that the UK Tote Group, which is owned by a consortium of high net worth investors, is raising £20m of new equity to accelerate a diversification away from its historic reliance on horse racing.

Gaming industry sources said on Friday that the fundraising had been completed in recent weeks and would provide a strong foundation for the Tote as the gambling industry continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tote is understood to have performed strongly since the resumption of racing in June, aided by a new consumer-facing website and a number of international partnerships.

Insiders said the new capital from shareholders would be used to fund its expansion into football betting and to strengthen the company’s balance sheet.

It comes just over a year after Alizeti Capital, a privately owned vehicle, took full ownership of the Tote – one of the most famous names in the betting industry.

The Tote had, since 2011, been owned by Betfred, which bought the previously state-owned business for £265m.