|Tote, the state owned British bookies, is set to be sold to a private company following the recent announcement of the deregulation of gambling legislation in the UK. The venerable institution was founded in 1928 by Winston Churchill to guarantee the punter safe, regulated betting, and soon became a symbol synonymous with British horse racing. Tote was allowed a monopoly on racing by the government and, in exchange, generously pumped money back into the sport. Always a favourite with British punters, Tote was embraced by a worldwide audience when it went online as ToteBetExpress.|
Lord Mackintosh, Minister for Media and Heritage has said that it is, “no longer appropriate, nor acceptable, for the Tote to remain in public ownership.' Tote will be sold to a racing trust ‘before the next election’ and lose its exclusive rights to operate pool betting at horse racing. Lord McIntosh added: 'Once the transitional licence period has come to an end, ” continues Lord Mackintosh, ” the pool betting market will be open to new entrants, and there is no plan to limit the number of licences available.'