What would you do with the Tote if you were Fred?

Kieth McDonnell
Kieth McDonnell

It’s been over 4 months now since BetFred’s Fred Done successfully acquired the UK Tote. Some call it “Totesport”, others talk about its Totepool products but really we all know it as, simply, “The Tote”. Therein lays strength – a ubiquitous, international, term that oozes credibility in a way many an overseas Operator can only be envious of.

Before continuing, some context – I spent over 4 years at The Tote, initially running the online part of the business and then getting involved in wider business development and international deals designed to drive the Pools. I have fond memories of a well run, yet sometimes restricted, business.

Totesport is a nice website but it offers nothing that other sites can’t provide. In fact until recently, due to the quirky nature of legislation the Tote was hamstrung by, it couldn’t even give its customers a Poker product. Most of the other sites can sell Totepool products if they want through their relationship with Totepool (or Tote Direct – the B2B arm of Totepool).

I see a lot of sense in Mr Done bringing the two sites together under his own brand, re-branding the shops (giving him a total of about 1350 – subject to OFT review) yet retaining and building the Totepool business as a branded wholesale one, using domestic and international partners to drive liquidity. And why stop at horses?

The nature of pari-mutuel / pool betting is known globally, Tote is a trusted term, and guaranteed margins offer a nice alternative to the volatility of fixed odds betting. The question for me is now; can Totepool dominate international pool betting by virtue of its new, and infinitely more flexible, private ownership? Why not?

Keith McDonnell is the Director and Founder of KM I-Gaming, to learn about KM I-Gaming’s services for the gaming industry please visit KMIGaming.com