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Tote: Sale

Volume 704: debated on Wednesday 22 October 2008

My honourable friend the Minister for Sport (Gerry Sutcliffe) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In my Ministerial Written Statement on 21 July, I said that, while the Government remained of the view that they should remove themselves from detailed involvement in the affairs of the racing and bookmaking industries, they would need to be satisfied that it was right to proceed with a sale of the Tote in the light of prevailing market conditions.

After further work over the summer, I have now concluded that it is not appropriate to pursue a sale in these market conditions. I have therefore decided that the Tote should be retained in public ownership for the medium term and brought to the market when conditions are likely to deliver value for the taxpayer and racing.

Finally, the Government would like to place on record again their warm appreciation of the loyalty and dedication of the Tote’s staff while its future has been under consideration.