ccording to reports in the Racing Post newspaper the shortlist may be reduced to as few as three from an initial field of 13. All parties have been told to prepare for a decision within three weeks, a period which would run through to the middle day of ICE 2011.
According to ICE exhibitors the Racing Post (stand 5180), the three frontrunners are Betfair, the Reuben Brothers (7/2) and Sportech (4/1). Racing Post claim Betfair eye the Tote as the ideal driver for their expansion plans but may need an industry partnership to be first past the post.
Sportech, the Liverpool-based pools company, recently established a horseracing arm with a US-based tote business.
The Reuben Brothers, who own Northern Racing and at least 24% of the seven-track racecourse group Arena Leisure, are committed to racing but, as of yet, have not had direct involvement in gambling. Outsiders include ‘low stake, high volume gaming’ market leaders Praesepe (20/1), and the racing-backed Charitable Foundation (25/1).