KEY DATES IN THE LONG-RUNNING TOTE SALE SAGA RACING POST (16.09.2010)
February 2000 Government announces intention to sell the Tote to racing.
The true question is: “How can the government, any government believe they can assume the right to sell something or anything that it does not own?” What with the MP’S expenses scandal, plus the present Inland Revenue scandal effecting 6 million people. When are the people of Britain to be treated fairly each and every day, to include the horses?
March 2001 Labour party includes sale to racing in election manifesto.
July 2001 Government casts doubt over private members’ bill speeding up the sale.
November 2002 Labour peer David Lipsey appointed chair of shadow racing trust to smooth path for sale.
December 2002 Government prioritises Tote sale.
January 2003 Parliamentary committee urges government to act quickly and sell Tote to racing for affordable price.
Late 2004 Enabling bill passed to allow sale of Tote to racing.
April 2005 Labour manifesto declares ‘Tote’ sale to racing will stay on course.
July 2006 Government warns levy extension depends on ‘Tote sale’ and modernisation of the sport’s administration structure.
September 2006 Racing Consortium’s initial offer of £400m is rejected.
November 2006 Hong Kong Jockey Club expresses interest in taking ‘Tote’ shareholding.
September 2007 Racing Consortium reduces its bid to £320m.
March 2008 Consortium’s latest bid rejected. Betfred and Coral publicly express interest, reputedly up to 40 others do so privately. Government commit to make available to racing half the net proceeds of any open market sale of the Tote. Half no good
The value of the Tote ...
Other half of issue tote can only positively exist for the Horsremen
July 2008 ROA threatens legal challenge to government’s actions over the sale.
July 2008 Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe announces that a decision on sale will be made “in autumn”.
September 2008 Treasury officials and DCMS cannot agree over sale timing.
October 2008 Sale put on ice “for medium term” .
October 2009 Surprise announcement by prime minister Gordon Brown that Tote would figure in sale of government assets, forecast to raise £16 billion over next two years. Government sets March 2011 as completion date of sale.
June 2010 In first Budget by new coalition government, chancellor George Osborne announces that “government will resolve the future of the Tote in a way that secures value for the taxpayer, while recognising the support the Tote currently provides the racing industry.”
September 2010 Minister for gambling John Penrose say’s government now preparing to launch “an open market process” to resolve future of tote in late autumn and will update House of Commons “early in the new year.”