Tote Still for Sale
The U.K. Tote will be sold off on the open market after the government finally rejected a bid by a racing consortium to take over the state-owned betting agency. The Financial Times reported Gala Coral will be among the leading bidders, as it has already offered the government £405 million for the Tote. Meanwhile, bids from Ladbrokes and William Hill would "almost certainly face insurmountable competition hurdles," while Betfred, also in the running, "may find the Tote valuation (£400 million) too daunting." The auction is expected to begin next month and take about nine months.
Fantastic Fixed Odds
Gextech and Ladbrokes have launched their Fantastic League virtual football fixed-odds betting product online. The product was previously available in Ladbrokes' chain of shops. The simulated games, which run on GexTech's Smart Stitch technology, provide the same betting opportunities as live football.
Betfair Launches New Starting Price
Betfair has launched its new starting price (SP) product following a successful day of trials in mid-December at the United Kingdom's Southwell Racecourse. According to the company, its SP product produced an average of 26.5 percent better odds on winners than official SPs. "We are thrilled with the way the product has performed, and been received and used by our customers," said Betfair spokesman Tony Calvin. "The worst percentage book we have returned is just 102 percent, and the best, 95.7 percent, so the value to be had at Betfair SP is there for all to see."
Champion jockey Kieren Fallon was found not guilty on Dec. 7 of conspiracy to defraud customers of betting exchange Betfair.
Fallon was acquitted along with his five co-defendants, Miles Rodgers, Fergal Lynch, Darren Williams, Shaun Lynch and Philip Sherkle.
The five defendants have been on trial for the last two months facing race-fixing charges that stem from an investigation which focused on over 80 races that took place between December 2002 and September 2004.
"I am of course relieved and delighted, but also outraged," Fallon said of the verdict. "There was never any evidence against me."
United Tote Goes Mobile
Youbet.com's United Tote (UT) subsidiary has signed a multi-year agreement with mobile solutions provider Phantom Fiber Corporation to deliver a mobile phone wagering solution that is fully integrated with the totalizator systems used by UT customers. The mobile service will enable players to view race programs, place wagers, manage their accounts and view historical transactions. A prototype of the service will be available for demonstration at the upcoming Symposium on Racing and Gaming, Dec. 3-8 in Tuscon, Ariz., and the product is expected to be ready for launch in Q1 2008.
BetOptions Partners with Atlantic Sportsbet
Race and sports wagering technology provider BEToptions has agreed to supply South Africa-based Atlantic Sportsbet with its WAGERplayer Internet sports book software. Atlantic operates sportsbet.co.za, licensed in Cape Town, which offers spread betting and "specifically caters to the South African sports enthusiast." Of the deal, Atlantic GM Lisa Haines said: "We believe that BEToptions offers us the ability and flexibility to successfully offer first-class sports wagering services to our client base."