Delay forced in Tote sale decision

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The Independent Online

A decision over the sale of the Tote is believed to have been delayed as a result of concerns over European state aid laws.

The auction for the state-owned bookmaker has been narrowed down to two bidders – the bookie Betfred and Sir Martin Broughton's Sports Investment Partners (SIP) vehicle.

The Government had said its decision would not be based purely on valuation and the successful bidder would need to provide value for the taxpayer, support for the racing industry and acknowledge the interests of Tote staff. But EU state aid rules could leave it open to legal challenges from the loser if it does not accept the highest bid.