Horseracing will get a new global opportunity after Ascot Racecourse, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Totepool announced the creation of a new Ascot World Pool for 2019.
The Ascot World Pool will see bets placed at Royal Ascot 2019 co-mingled by the three parties and is expected to see UK liquidity increase from the current approximate £20 million to in the region of £75 million.
Pari-mutuel betting has an obvious advantage for the operator in that it takes a guaranteed percentage of the betting pool, and as such is much less risky than running a book, with affiliate deals that should reflect that.
Phil Siers, Managing Director at Totepool, with whom Ascot Racecourse will begin its partnership as AscotBet on July 13th this year, said: “Liquidity breeds liquidity and we believe the size of the pool created will draw more bets into this market from other countries.
“This is possible through the Totepool International Gateway, which will offer the opportunity for further entrants resulting in the strengthening of the World Pool to become a huge global liquidity pool with customer friendly pay-outs. The aim is better odds than SP.
“Presently, any large investments into an average sized pool could affect the dividend dramatically. Larger liquidity means less fluctuation of the dividends and will thus offer a very competitive advantage to large staking customers. In fact, a world pool is intended to offer enough liquidity for on course layers to potentially bet into it.”
Guy Henderson, Chief Executive Officer at Ascot, welcomed the new deal: “The foundation stone of successful pool betting is liquidity. AscotBet is delighted and honoured to be collaborating with Totepool and the Hong Kong Jockey Club to comingle bets on all Royal Ascot’s races into HKJC’s new World Pool. Our partner Totepool’s comingling arrangement with HKJC on racing in Hong Kong through its Tote Direct business has been a huge success, bringing over £1 billion of liquidity into the Hong Kong pool in just 18 months. We are excited about the opportunities provided by World Pool.”
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: “We are honoured to provide a global Tote offering for one of the world’s leading racing festival brands, Royal Ascot.
“This agreement solidifies Hong Kong’s position as the global hub of commingling. Our wagering operation is world-class and is recognised as a leader in integrity and management processes. We believe this is the beginning of a new era in international racing. We are already in active discussions with other racing bodies about future World Pool initiatives.”
Richard Cheung, the Club’s Executive Director, Customer and International Business Development, added: “The creation of the World Pool is another step forward for the Club’s commingling strategy. We now offer global commingling opportunities not only for 88 Hong Kong meetings, but also all Royal Ascot races. We must thank our partners from Ascot and Totepool for making this happen.
“Over time we will invite other racing jurisdictions who are commingling with us on HK races and are also interested in joining the World Pool for Royal Ascot races.”
Alastair Warwick, Chief Operating Officer at Ascot and Managing Director of AscotBet, added: “In May, we launched the front-facing, on course, Bet With Ascot brand with the former element in mind and the creation of Ascot World Pool with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Totepool will enable us to address the latter.
“Takeout at Royal Ascot is projected to drop both on-course and in the shops from the current 19.25% to 17.5% to match the Hong Kong Pool for the Ascot World Pool co-mingled market, to the obvious benefit of everyone.
“With pool betting only holding 3% of national betting turnover as things stand, this provides a real opportunity for pool betting to be a much stronger, value driven alternative to other betting options.”