Tote Ireland profits rise to €630,000 as wagers increase
Pool betting business pays €300,000 dividend to horseracing body as profits rise 36%
Amounts staked by punters rose 13 per cent in 2016 to €92.8 million. Photograph: Eric Luke
Profits at horseracing’s pool betting business rose 36 per cent to €630,000 last year on the back of increased wagers, accounts just published show.
Figures for Tote Ireland Ltd, the Horseracing Ireland (HRI) subsidiary that offers pool betting on racecourses and online, show that the amounts staked by punters rose 13 per cent in 2016 to €92.8 million from €75.3 million.
Tote Ireland kept €7 million of the total last year, a 7.5 per cent share, compared to €6.8 million in 2015.
This left it with a profit for 2016 of €630,152 after costs and payments to racecourses, an increase of 36 per cent on the previous year, when profits were €461,554.
The company paid a dividend of €300,000 to HRI, the State’s horseracing administrator last year, a 50 per cent increase on the €200,000 paid out in 2015.
Notes to the accounts state that it intends paying a €400,000 final dividend to HRI, which, if the company approves the proposal, will be included in its 2017 figures.
The Tote – as it is generally known – offers racegoers a range of win, place and each-way bets on individual races.
In addition it offers jackpots, which pay out if punters pick the winners of several races in a single meeting, and forecasts which allow customers to forecast the first two and three horses home in a given race.
Punters’ money is pooled, the company takes a dividend and pays out the balance on winning bets in proportion to the number of people that have bet on each horse or result.
Thus, the larger the number that have bet on an individual horse winning or placing, the lower the payout. If fewer people bet on a particular horse, then the payout is higher.
Tote Ireland’s figures show that net assets were close to €2.3 million at the end of last year, up from €1.95 million 12 months earlier.
The company paid €1.8 million in wages to its 212 staff and made social welfare and pension contributions of €273,000.