Government Claim Tote to Continue 50/50 Profit Split Post Sale

March 2, 2011

According to UK Junior Heritage Minister John Penrose, the government owned bookmaker, The Tote will continue to split its profits equally with the taxpayer after it is sold.

The company was set up 83 years ago to provide racecourse punters with alternatives to illegal bookmakers and ensure money went back into the sport and currently injects half its profits into racing.

However, calls were launched in the UK House of Commons for the dividend to be increased with the coalition likely to sell the Wigan-based company, which employs more than 4,000 staff, later this year.

Penrose stated: “There have been various comments that 50% isn’t enough and it ought to be 100% of the proceeds going to racing – but that isn’t where we are.”

Last year, Chancellor George Osborne promised to secure value for taxpayers while recognising the support the Tote gave to the industry, he said.

Mr Penrose added: “Given the state of the national finances, it’s going to be extremely hard – in fact, completely impossible – to argue we should be doing more than a 50-50 split.”