The Tote was originally set-up by an individual called Winston Churchill in 1927. You might have heard of him! If not, then Google search World War II and give yourself a slap across the face. It was initially founded as a horse racing betting provider. The idea behind it was that it would allow punters to place a bet on horse racing without having to resort to dealing with illegal bookmakers on the underground market. It was also seen as a method of investment for horse racing with a percentage of income through Tote betting re-invested into the sport.
It was not long before The Tote expanded into offering markets on other sports. It remained synonymous with horse racing but the bookmaker widened its horizons by making betting available through betting shops, on the telephone, and, eventually, on the online and mobile platforms.
It was in 2004 that The Tote experienced a re-branding to keep up with the modernisation of the betting market. It was split into two operations. The pool betting product became known as Totepool and the bookmaker product that offered fixed-odds became Totesport.
In 2011, the government made the landmark decision to sell the Tote. It was purchased by rival bookmaker Betfred and is currently under the operation of a Petfre licence in the gambling jurisdiction of Gibraltar.
Totepool and Totesport still holds a solid association with horse racing. It continues to offer betting such as the Scoop 6, Jackpot, and Placepot. It also offers odds on a wealth of other sports including football, golf, and tennis. It remains one of the most recognised names in online sports betting.
Bookie Offers & Promotions
Totesport has a selection of exciting offers and promotional campaigns available for its customers that are all appealing to customers at the online bookmaker. These offers and promotions are both event-specific and also cover a range of sports listed on the site. A number of these offers might only be active for a short amount of time so here we will cover the ones that are more long term.
This is a list of the long term active promotional bonuses and offers that Totesport currently have available for customers. It might not be the most comprehensive list on the market but it has enough to offer followers of a number of different sports. There is a strong emphasis on horse racing due to the bookmaker's long-time association with the sport.
- £25 Free Bet New Customers
- Super Bonus Races (Horse Racing)
- 5 x The Odds For One Winner (Horse Racing)
- All Correct Bonuses (Horse Racing)
- Double Delight Hat-Trick Heaven (Football)
- NFL Double Delight Hat-Trick Heaven (American Football)
- Rugby Union Double Delight (Rugby Union)
Totesport feel like the old school ballers of the online sports betting scene. They have been around in one form or another for a while and even though they re-branded as recently as 2004 and taken over in 2011 but it feels like this site is a bit behind the rest of the competition. It feels old, it feels worn, and it feels in need of a refresh. That is just the impression that is given through the site design as well.
The colour scheme stays true to the Totesport branding that has been this way for years. The combination of black and green with the white trim. It is traditional and it is familiar. It just about falls short of boring but could easily be regarded as a bit safe.
Layout is a problem for the site. The desire of Totesport to constantly throw horse racing down your throat holds it back. The emphasis is on the “sport of kings” everywhere. From the Racing Highlights section on the top left to the promotions that are thrown into your face just below the section tabs that relate mainly to horse racing. It is a little over-the-top for a site that claims to cover all sports.
The Betting Highlights section that is located just below the Racing Highlights section should be more prominent. This is a decent list that states the most popular markets at the current time. It is far more effective than the all sports tabs that sit just below the promotional banners. Those text-only tabs feel lifeless and dull.
One thing the site does do well is the obvious placement of the betting slip on the right side. That is hard to get wrong though. Some bookies make it a tab that disappears when not in use which would have perhaps been a better option but at least they've made it easy to let customers know what they are betting.
In contrast to the earlier criticism of Totesport's inability to keep up with the times, the bookmaker does actually link to its social media content very well. The links to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are all blatant on the left side of the screen and scroll with the page.
If the design of a sports betting website is poor then the navigational side of it is unlikely to tear up any trees. That is certainly the case here. The Totesport site feels a bit like a new home when you haven't unpacked any boxes. You know everything is there, you just know you will have a hard time finding it.
The listed sections on the left of the site offer relatively simple go-to links to certain sections but it is a bit disorganised. The presence of the In-Play tab alongside other tabs such as Totepool, Games, and Lotto feels a bit out of place but that's an ongoing issue here. Everything feels a little out of place.
I think the best way to describe the navigational side of this site is that Totesport have clearly put horse racing at the front of their minds and then tried to ram every other single bit of content onto the site at the sacrifice of ease-of-use.
Sections such as promotions, the help page, and mobile use are easy to find. The latest markets are also relatively simple to discover. Unfortunately, everything else feels like pot luck. You will stumble across markets you did not think were offered. You will fail to find what you are looking for on a regular basis. It is far from the best. Totesport's website certainly needs a re-design and only then can it expect to be more user-friendly.
Unfortunately, key features is not something that Totesport excels at compared to its rivals. On other leading bookmaker websites you can expect to see a wide range of important features that are easily viewed on the main page. Totesport does not lead the field in this area and that can only be seen as a disappointment.
Radio Commentaries – due to its close links to horse racing and the absence of live feeds for the vast majority of racing meets it is no surprise to see Totesport offering radio commentaries on events. This might feel like small compensation in the absence of live feeds but it is better than nothing. In fact, this can be seen as Totesport's biggest weakness. It feels like an online bookie that is still catching up with the times.
In-Play – luckily, Totesport are not entirely archaic and do offer in-play betting markets. The in-play tab ensures this can be seen easily and boasts its own section. In-play is becoming a big part of online sports betting these days so the fact Totesport have caught onto this craze shows they might be a little bit off the pace in other areas of their operations but they have their finger on the pulse for sections such as their in-play markets. These are some of the most comprehensive on the market and cannot be faulted.
The Totesport mobile offerings are to a reasonably high quality at first glance. It is possible to download the Totesport mobile product on both Android and iOS devices. It can also be downloaded by customers texting “mobile” to 89060 or heading to the Totesport website on their mobile device.
The mobile section is also quite prominent on the main page of the website which makes for a fresh change compared to other bookies that hide it away. In the mobile product itself, there is plenty for punters to see and do. Racing Post data and a Quickbet function ensure that information is premium and convenience is also a priority for the bookmaker. Overall, this is one of the higher-quality mobile offerings from online bookies.
If you read our bookmaker reviews regularly then you will be aware of an ongoing gripe we have with certain operators trying their damn hardest to try and avoid their customers from getting in contact with them. A process that can only be equated to the recruitment procedure to join the SAS is required by some operators and that can be very annoying and, quite frankly, disrespectful.
Totesport are one of those operators that actually give the impression they give two hoots about their customers. On the main page, the link to the customer service section is not only visible but it even follows you as you scroll down the page.
The bookmaker boasts that the live help is available 24/7. The link takes you to a live chat function and there are also a range of FAQs to scan through before seeking extra assistance from the customer support team.
In addition to this, the help link offers a betting glossary so you can familiarise yourself with some terms in the industry and the contact us link also provides contact information for the email, telephone, and even snail mail methods of contact.