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Why is the Tote still in government hands?

Back in the dark days of the mid 1990s and again in 2001 the government promised to complete the sale of the Tote which is the government owned betting organisation which has an exclusive licence to run pool based services. While we have seen a number of near misses only for the EU to step in and block at least one of them, the latest move to sell the company has been put on hold as one by one the possible bidders fell by the wayside. So what next?

We are looking at a business which in its heyday prior to the recession was worth in excess of £300 million but would probably raise a lot less in today's market. Conscious not to be seen to be giving away the family silver the government will now look to try again when the economy improves but why has it take nearly ten years for us to get to this situation?

It is a mystery to many as to why the Tote is still in state hands as we have had literally six on off sales over the last few years. The £300 million (or £400 million if you believe early estimates) would have been well received in the current economic climate and could have been put to good use by helping either the tax payer of the smaller business community.

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