Totesport Review

Totesport might just be the most iconic brand in the sports betting industry. They were seen as innovators back in 1929 when they first launched their pools based betting. But, being government run meant that the company always had limitations.

These days they’ve been able to expand and now they are able to offer up modern-day betting for the masses. The sportsbook is probably best known for having both Tote betting and your more traditional bookmaking, an accompaniment that is much rarer these days than it used to be.

That being said, whilst the pool betting Tote is still an important part, the switch to the Totesport brand has meant that they are much more in line with we would call a regular bookmaker. However, their roots of horse racing are still very apparent, and with that we are able to access a huge range of markets and races from around the world, showcasing that this old timer still has plenty miles left in the tank.

About Totesport

Totesport is probably one the most interesting betting companies of it’s generation. It was originally called The Tote and when it was formed in 1928 and was run by the UK government. The concept of the Tote was to provide pool betting on masses to punters, primarily race goers. But, in 2011 the brand was starting to die off a little and popularity with Tote betting on the whole was diminishing.

It was then that bookmaker Betfred decided to buy the company and turn it into something much more mainstream. It’s now a fully-fledged online bookmaker and with this it means they can compete with other brands in its sector. But, they also include their original style Tote betting as well, making it an extremely versatile betting tool for punters.

Best features

The standout feature for us has to be the ability to still place a wide variety of Tote bets. When trying to continue and expand the brand, over the years the variations of Tote bets has risen and now includes placepot, jackpot, quadpot, exacta, trifecta, win/place and Scoop 6. There are very few – if any – bookmakers that offer this complete package allowing Totesport to be very unique in how they go about their day-to-day betting offerings.

The sportsbook as a standalone entity shouldn’t be overlooked though, and they include both a good range of sports and markets to bet on. Admittedly, outside of football and horse racing, the range is pretty slim when it comes to market depth, but this is mainly because of the Tote’s extensive background in horse racing, of which there are few bookmakers better for this sport.


We would say that the pricing structure at Totesport isn’t the most lucrative in the industry. They were often about middle of road at best with the markets that we tested, and whilst this isn’t always a bad thing, it’s certainly not making them standout from what is a very competitive marketplace.

Ease of use

The design of the site, for us at least, is absolutely stunning. Black doesn’t always work as background as it can often be quite drab, but with their traditional lime green colouring on site, it looks really, really sweet. In fact, it might well be one of the best in the industry.

Maximum bet

Totesport are another bookmaker who have decided to do away with max bet limits and instead replace them with max payout limits. These limits are pretty generous though and will reach up to £1,000,000 for major events in football and horse racing. It is worth noting that these limits will reduce with less popular sports and also less popular leagues or competitions.

Customer support

  • Email:
  • Phone Number: 0800 032 8188 (inside UK), +44(0) 1925 907520 (outside UK)
  • Address: Customer Service Department, The Spectrum, 56-58 Benson Road, Birchwood, WA3 7PQ, UK

Totesport Company Info

Where are Totesport based?

Although registered out of Gibraltar these days, the company are still based in the UK, where they have been for their entire existence, albeit originally government run. In fact, one of the terms of the merger between ToteSport and Betfred was that they remain within the UK, more of which we discuss later in this article.

When were they founded?

The Tote was founded in 1928 by none other than Winston Churchill. It was set up in a time where off-course bookmaking was illegal and the Tote was designed to offer punters a way to still bet, but within the realms of the law i.e. pool betting rather than traditional bookmaking as we know it today.

The popularity of the Tote actually had an opposite effect on the industry though and it saw a surge in companies wanting a piece of the action. The Tote was then run by the Racecourse Betting Control Board and were on courses throughout the UK by 1929. By 1972 the company had over 4,00 staff and finally opened their first high street shop, some 11 years after the ban on high street bookmaking was lifted.

The company continued to grow over the next few decades and by 1992 were in over 7,000 betting shops across the UK, making them the most exposed betting brand in the industry at the time.

There is little doubt that the online industry had a detrimental effect on the Tote though, as numbers started to reduce in the early 2000’s, even after successful campaigns such as the Scoop 6 and Tote Jackpot bets.

After decades of attempts by government to offload the Tote, it was finally agreed that in 2011 a deal would be made from a prospective list of 18 applicants. Throughout several rounds of interviews and conferences, the government finally whittled it down to just 5 candidates, including a range of businesses such as Betfred, David and Simon Ruben, Gala Coral, Sports Investment Partners and a foundation of existing management within the Tote.

Betfred finally got the nod in June 2011 to take over full rights of the Tote. As part of the deal Betfred were paying off around half back to tax payers and also a good chunk to the British Horse Racing Association, along with a dedicated 7-year plan to keep investing into the sport.

What are their main markets?

Totesport is massively reliant on the UK market, probably as much as any bookmaker in the industry right now. They do accept a fairly broad range of territories to sign up, but the UK make a huge percentage of their footfall.

Do they run high street betting shops?

They did, as stated above, but they have all now been refurbished under the Betfred brand.