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McCririck urges Tote `loss-leader'.

Byline: David Ashforth

JOHN McCRIRICK yesterday urged the Tote to offer a deduction-free race every day in order to get punters into the habit of pool betting, writes David Ashforth.

McCririck was speaking in the wake of the news that the Tote's plan to cut deductions from its Win and Place pools was under threat, following Ladbrokes' and Coral's refusal to agree a cut in commission payments to support the change. Ladbrokes and Coral are the majority shareholders in Tote Direct.

Channel 4's betting expert said: "It is sad for punters but, in fairness, you cannot expect bookmakers to take part in their own execution. At the end of the day, they want to do away with the Tote.

"With Tote Direct, the Tote gets into betting shops and the bookmakers demand money for allowing them in, so you can see where the problem is.

"Bookmakers aren't going to succour the enemy, and punters aren't going to play with deductions of 16 per cent [Win pool] and 24 per cent [Place pool]."

McCririck added: "What the Tote should do is have one big race a day as a

loss-leader, with 100 per cent of the pool returned to punters. That would get

people used to betting with the Tote."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 7, 2003
Words:209
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