In the United Kingdom and the UK Tote Group has reportedly raised some £20 million ($26.7 million) in order to help diversify its product offering via a planned expansion into the football sportsbetting market.

According to a Friday report from Sky News, the Wigan-headquartered firm is responsible for the Tote pool bet horseracing service and is hoping that the move will help it to more quickly recover from the financial impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Although its business has purportedly been performing well since the behind-closed-doors resumption of the British racing calendar in June, the operator is nevertheless eager to enter a market that was last year estimated to be worth at least $100 billion.

Divergent direction:

Previously a state-owned enterprise, the UK Tote Group was purchased by British online and land-based sportsbetting behemoth BetFred in July of 2011 as part of a deal that was said to be worth around £265 million ($355.1 million). It was taken over by a consortium of racing owners and investors calling itself Alizeti Capital Limited in October of last year and is said to be eager to expand well beyond its traditional horseracing-focused market.

Imminent introduction:

Insiders reportedly told Sky News that UK Tote Group now expects to use the fresh capital to strengthen its balance sheet and fund its entry into the domestic football betting scene. The source furthermore detailed that the operator is hoping to debut a new soccer-facing service early next year before possibly growing this facility to incorporate markets on other sports such as athletics.

Enduring obligation:

Susannah Gill serves as Communications and Corporate Affairs Director for UK Tote Group and she reportedly told Gambling Insider that her firm has ‘made a long-term commitment to rejuvenating the Tote and increasing pool betting on British racing.’ She purportedly moreover proclaimed that the operator intends to use the fresh capital ‘for investment into the core platform on which we offer our digital racing pools product’, which will give it the added ability ‘to expand into other sports.’

Gill reportedly stated…

UK Tote Group aiming to diversify into the football sportsbetting market

“This will ensure that the Tote can appeal to a broader base of sports fans who have not, as yet, chosen to bet with the Tote. This is an essential element to ensuring the further growth and success of the Tote and increasing the role it can play in supporting British racing.”