Betfred wins Tote race

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BOOKMAKERS Betfred has been told it has won the race to buy the Tote.

Betfred, which is based in Warrington, has been told its £200m bid has trumped a rival offer from Sports Investment Partners (SIP) led by form British Airways chief Sir Martin Broughton.

The Tote, which is based in Wigan and employs 540 staff in the town, was set up 83 years ago to provide racecourse punters with alternatives to illegal bookmakers and ensure money went back into the sport.

It has more than 4,000 staff nationwide and currently injects half its profits into racing.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce confirmation of the deal today.

Last week, in an exclusive Wigan Evening Post interview about his £200m offer Fred Done, executive chairman of Warrington-based Betfred, said: “Certain parts of the Tote are absolutely staying in Wigan - IT and the Tote pool betting business for instance. The rest hasn’t been decided upon yet.

“If anything is transferred to Warrington there would be minimal redundancies, but we might decide to transfer Warrington to Wigan.

“People should see this as a growth story. The companies employ more than 8,000 people combined and I can guarantee this: that eventually there will be more people working for us.”