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Totesport Bookmaker Review

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Totesport is about as close to a British institution as it’s possible for a bookmaker to be. Formed in 1928 as a result of the Racecourse Betting Act, it was owned by the UK Government until 2011 when it was privatised and sold to Betfred. If you’ve ever heard reference to ‘the Tote’ at racecourses then you’ll have heard people talking about what formed the origins of Totesport.

The corporation was actually the brainchild of Winston Churchill, who wanted to offer a state-controlled alternative to the off-course bookmakers that were springing up around racecourses and were entirely illegal. The Tote’s first high street shops opened in 1972 and it grew from there over the following years.

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Desktop Site

tote desktop

I like Totesport’s desktop site a lot. I think it looks really smart and is very responsive to whatever requests you make of it. The black, white and lime green colour scheme may not be to everyone’s taste but I think it’s sharp and makes things stand out when you’re using the site.

Along the top is a bar with tabs directing you to all of the main sections that you’ll be interested in, with a click on the Sports page revealing quick links to that day’s racing and general betting highlights down the lefthand side. Underneath them is a link to all sports covered by the company, with the main body of the page featuring links to any in-play events that are taking place.

Mobile App

The app is sadly not quite as impressive as the main website. It sort of follows the same colour scheme, but the lime is no longer bright and sharp but is instead rather dull and snot-like. The menu button that tends to drop down on most sites instead takes over the whole screen when you click on it and offers many of the same options that you can find along the top of the homepage if you scroll through.

It’s reasonably quick to respond to commands, though I’ve used faster and more impressive apps in my time. You’ll also find that there are plenty of menus to click through before you actually get to an event that you’re after. If you want to bet on a greyhound race, for example, you’ll click Greyhounds, then the course, then the specific race you’re after. It’s convoluted, but not atypical of mobile apps I suppose.

Live Betting

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Totesport have a decent amount of live betting options, though I’m not convinced that their set-up is the best that it could be. Having a look at the live betting on football in the middle of the afternoon, for example, will show you the main matches that are taking place that night before the actual live events that are taking place at that moment. It’s not hugely intuitive but you might like it.

Live Streaming

All of Totesport’s live streaming is actually done through their parent company of Betfred. That means that you can watch streams of football, basketball, tennis and more, as well as greyhound and horse racing. For the latter you need to bet a minimum of £1, whilst with the former you just need to be logged in with a positive balance.

Markets and Odds

When it comes to both the market coverage and odds offered by Totesport they are middle of the road. As you’d expect for a company that was created by the UK government, there is a definite focus on sports and events favoured by the British public. That’s why you’ll find the football and horse racing markets are a little deeper than with other sports and the odds on those are better than you might get with different bookies, too.

That’s not to suggest that Totesport isn’t worth looking to if you’re placing a bet. They are competitive compared to other bookies in numerous areas and they also cover events that other bookmakers won’t look at, such as politics, TV shows and other ‘Specials’. They’re worth having in your roster of places to check out, even if they’re rarely going to offer you the best odds in the business.


Credit and debit cards are accepted for deposits, as are PayPal, Skrill, Neteller and PaySafeCards. You need to pay a minimum of £5 and you’ll encounter no fees, which is good.

Other Products

Totesport is predominantly about the various sportsbook events that you’ll want to bet on. That said, there are different slot type games that you can play as well as BlackJack and roulette, for example. There’s also a Lotto based game that you might want to have a look at.

About Totesport

totesportTotesport is owned by Betfred, so you’ll see obviously similarities between the two bookmakers in terms of what they offer and how good their service is. Its fixed odds betting on sports other than horse racing is a reasonably young affair, having only really branched out into it in recent years. Horse racing remains its first love and it is the only company that is able to operate pool betting on horse races at the time of writing. The licence to do that was given to Totesports exclusively for seven years from the time the company was formed in 2011.

The Tote linked up with Channel 4 back in 1999 to offer the famous Scoop6. This was an offer whereby punters tried to guess the winners of six different races that were being shown on Channel 4. The first horse racing betting millionaire was created as a result of Scoop6 and on the 22nd of November 2008 a record single-day turnover of over £4 million was recorded by the company.


The desktop site is sleek and smart, reacting quickly to requests you make of it and being generally intuitive. The link to Betfred also can’t be ignored, with their live streaming options being plentiful and impressive.


The mobile app is pretty poor, to be honest. I’m also not overly impressed with the way their live betting is laid out. There are loads of options of live events to bet on but getting to them is a faff and it’s counter-intuitive to have events that are not live listed at the top of the live betting section.

Licence & Contact Details

Totesport’s live chat option is available 24/7 through their website. I have been on their during extremely busy periods and not struggled to speak to someone. The opening hours for their telephone customer service are the same, meaning that you’ll be able to contact someone pretty much whenever you want to. Perfect for if you’re having a problem with something or want clarification on a bet or offer.

They do have a Twitter account but it tends to be used in fits and spurts rather than monitored 24/7. I wouldn’t turn to Twitter if you’re looking for a problem to be solved, instead they’re worth following if you like to be told about offers or main events coming up every now and then. It’s a not dissimilar situation when it comes to their Facebook account, with the company obviously having failed to grasp the importance of social media in the 21st century.

Unsurprisingly, Totesport is monitored by the UK Gambling Commission and have a licence from them with the reference number 39544. They are based in Malta but if you want to write to them then there is a UK address, which is as follows: c/o The Spectrum, 56-58 Benson Road, Birchwood, WA3 7PQ, UK.

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