Totesport easily possesses one of the most fascinating backgrounds of any major bookmaker. We’ll cover it in more detail later on, but – in short – it was founded all the way back in 1928… and was actually run by the UK government all the way up until 2011, when it was sold to Betfred. You don’t come across bookmakers like that too often!
Far more important for our purposes, though, is the state of Totesport today. Having historically been known as a horse racing specialist, the major question regards how well-rounded Totesport’s offering is, and whether it can truly appeal to a broad audience. As well as evaluating this in our Totesport review, we’ll also look at the promotions, security, and mobile features on offer.
18+. UK+IRE only. T&Cs apply.
Aimed for football fans
Ongoing promos are great
Great as a “secondary” bookie
Totesport Sports Sign Up Offer
Totesport might have been a massive brand at its peak, but it’s far to say that it’s slipped somewhat in its wider awareness. Accordingly, a quality welcome offer would be a perfect way to get a new generation of fans on board. Fortunately, that’s exactly what they’ve got, in their ‘Up to £35 New Customer Offer’!
The eye-catching total of £35 is actually split between two separate welcome offers. One is a matched bet of up to £25 on the sportsbook, and the other is £10 cashback on Totepool (their extensive pool betting features, which have historically been one of their calling cards).
Here are the main T’s and C’s for the sportsbook offer:
- Qualifying stake can be between £5 and £25, on odds of Evens (2.0) or greater, and bet must be settled within 60 days of placement
- Stake will be matched in the form of a Totesport free bet
- Free bet valid for 7 days after being awarded
And here are those for the Totepool offer:
- First stake on a single Totepool offering must be £10 or more to qualify
- Offer must be triggered within 60 days of registration
- Exactly £10 will be returned, as cash (not free bets)
This is easily one of the strongest promotions on the market right now. The matched bet Totesport new customer offer is excellent in itself, with a lovely degree of flexibility in the qualifying stake, and minimums for both the stake and necessary odds pleasingly low. Throw in another strong offer on top of that, offering you a £10 return in straight-up cash on a pool bet, and the proposition becomes truly exceptional.
Totesport Betting Ongoing Promotions
Many, if not most bookies with a good welcome offer fail to follow it up with similarly strong ongoing deals. We’re delighted to say the opposite is true with Totesport’s promotions. Both the volume and quality here are outstanding, and – best of all – they cover a nice, broad range of sports.
Both the Women’s World Cup and the Cricket World Cup are ongoing at the time of writing, and Totesport have skilfully tied into both with juicy price boosts for certain markets. There are also both Double Delight and Hat-Trick Heaven promotions for football, wherein your return on a goalscorer bet gets bigger as bigger as they bang in more goals. The US Open in golf is imminent too, and Totesport are offering to pay a hefty eight places on winner picks.
As we mentioned earlier, though, horse racing is clearly Totesport’s biggest focus in general, and this is certainly displayed in its ongoing promotions. There are five different promotions at the time of writing dedicated solely to the sport of kings, which range from a standard extra places deal, to a more creative ‘Beaten By a Neck or Less’ Totesport offer, in which your narrowly-losing pick will be refunded up to £10.
Finally, as we’ve also mentioned, pool betting has always been a big focus for Totesport. It’s no surprise, therefore, to come across their excellent Cashback Club for pool bettors. Stake £20 or more per week on pool bets, and you’ll get a lovely 10% cashback on all your bets.
Totesport Football Features
Horse racing might be Totesport’s first love, but to be a viable sportsbook in the UK you’d better make sure your football features are firing on all cylinders.
Totesport has a dedicated football section, which is a good start, and the whole area has clearly been designed to help you find the biggest markets as quickly as possible. You’re shown in-play matches by default, but – in a nice example of their innovation – Totesport have a ‘TV Matches’ tab right next to that, which is a speedy way to see the most popular upcoming games laid out for you.
Accessing every other upcoming match is as simple as clicking the ‘More’ tab, and choosing from Champions League, International Football, European Leagues, and so on. Overall this is a nicely streamlined section, which is extremely easy to navigate. Our one gripe is that you can only see 1/X/2 odds on the longlists by default, with no option to switch to the likes of BTTS or Over 2.5 Goals. Still, within the matches themselves you’ll find all your favourite markets easily enough – Over/Under Goals, Goalscorer picks, Handicaps, and so on.
In terms of other features, both in-play and Totesport cash out options are present and correct, although the in-play betting isn’t the fastest we’ve seen – it takes several seconds for your bet to go through, and the odds don’t update particularly frequently. While there’s unfortunately no live streaming of football, Totesport do provide live radio commentary, and even radio previews of the bigger upcoming games, which is certainly a nice substitute.
Other Betting Markets
We’ve touched upon this a couple of times already, but there’s no question as to Totesport’s number one priority. It was originally founded as a government board for safe, legal horse racing and – even as it’s evolved to offer plenty more markets over the years – this has clearly remained its focus.
In addition to the raft of promotions which we touched upon already, the actual horse racing section is extremely comprehensive. Following a similar structure to that of the football section, it covers races from both the UK, Ireland, and all around the world, offering special prices and extra places on many contests. The absence of live streaming of races is certainly disappointing, but – again like football – there is radio commentary in place.
Elsewhere, you’ll find a nice variety of other popular sports represented. These range from tennis and golf, to boxing and basketball, and also cover eSports.Mobile Betting Options & App
Bizarrely, considering the modern popularity and importance of on-the-go gambling, there is no mention whatsoever of a Totesport app on the main website. Fortunately, this does not mean that it doesn’t exist!
There are dedicated apps available for both iOS and Android devices. The iOS version can be found in the App Store, whereas the Totesport Android app must be downloaded directly as an APK file from Totesport’s website.
While there are obviously no user reviews available for the Android version, it’s fair to say the iOS app hasn’t always been well-received. In fact, it only has a 2.6/5 average rating, but it’s important to point out many of these reviews are relatively old now. Totesport have made a point of listening to these complaints, taking the criticisms on board, and fixing their problems.
The current app is hardly a world-beater, but it gets the job done and was stable in our testing. The navigation isn’t the most fluid we’ve seen, nor is it the most attractive app on the market, but it’s functional. All the desktop version’s major features have been carried over too, including in-play wagering, cash out, and a wide variety of pool betting opportunities.
Add in a mobile version of the main website which, again, is functional rather than exciting, and you have a respectable all-round mobile offering. In an otherwise exceptional offering, though, the Totesport mobile features stand out as something of a weak spot.
While Totesport does technically have a section in its FAQ about security… it’s not the most enlightening we’ve come across! They claim to have ‘advanced security systems’ in place, to protect your personal and financial information, but there’s no clarification as to what those systems actually are. That said, a little more research did reveal that SSL encryption is in place, as you would expect in this day and age.
Any lingering questions such as ‘Is Totesport legit?’ are put to bed by its licenses. Totesport is fully licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission of Great Britain for UK residents, and the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner for all other users.
Opening an Account
At first glance, Totesport’s sign up process appears a little more testing than most, given that you need to move through five separate sections to complete it. In reality, though, you’re really just entering the same data as usual; it’s simply spread out across more stages.
You start off by creating a username and password, then entering your name and date of birth. Next you give your email address and set a security question, then – at the final hurdle – set your preferred currency and marketing preferences.
There’s little rhyme or reason to how this is all arranged… but at least it’s easy enough to complete! Our one point of contention is the complete absence of deposit limits at this point. You can set them later on, within your account settings, but they’re normally a staple of bookies’ sign up processes nowadays.
You have a nice range of deposit options at Totesport, with six choices in total that cover all the major bases: Visa Checkout, credit/debit card, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill and paysafecard. The minimum deposit amount is a lovely low £5, and payments are processed instantly.
The minimum amount for a Totesport withdrawal is also nice and low at £5, and there are four ways in which to withdraw your money – Visa Checkout, credit/debit card, Neteller and PayPal – with payments being processed within 48 hours. Bear in mind, though, that wherever possible the withdrawal must be made using the same method with which you deposited. To use a different method, you’ll need to provide ID verification.
It’s been pretty plain sailing so far in our Totesport review, and we’re pleased to say that this continues with their customer support. There’s a nice choice of ways to contact the support team, with the ‘big three’ options – email, phone and live chat – all included. Best of all, the live chat is available 24/7, meaning Totesport customer service is never far away if you have an issue.
Backing up these excellent direct Totesport contact options is a solid indirect help section. The FAQ is reasonably comprehensive, with 17 well-written and useful entries in total which cover account creation and maintenance, deposits and withdrawals, and a handful of other important areas.
Totesport Company Details
There are some wild and wonderful bookmaker histories out there, but Totesport might just be the most unusual we’ve come across.
It was originally created as the Racehorse Betting Control Board by Winston Churchill himself (a notorious horse racing fan) back in 1928, as a government-controlled alternative to illegal bookmakers. It gained the name by which it would be more famously known – ‘the Tote’ – after a reorganisation in 1961, and opened its first brick-and-mortar betting shop in 1972. Over the next few decades it exploded in size, eventually employing 4,000 people and running stores – mainly at racecourses – all over the country.
It was turned into a limited company in 2004, which is when it was rebranded as ToteSport. After years of pressure on successive governments to do so, Totesport was finally privatised in 2011 when it was sold to Betfred. Nowadays, after all of that, it operates out of – surprise, surprise – Gibraltar.
Totesport Football Review Bottom Line
A bookie that’s over 90 years old, and which has primarily been known for brick-and-mortar betting shops at racecourses for most of its history, might not seem the most appealing proposition. The old adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ could not be more relevant here, though.
Totesport has completely reinvented itself as a beautifully rounded modern bookmaker. Its horse racing features and promotions are certainly exceptional, but there’s a whole lot here for fans of football and other sports too. The strongest parts of this offering are certainly the welcome and ongoing promotions, but – with the possible exception of the mobile app – there are really no weak spots here.
Whether you’re a fan of betting on football, horse racing, or any other major sport, signing up to Totesport to take advantage of their brilliantly generous ‘Up to £35 New Customer Offer’ is an absolute no-brainer.
18+. UK+IRE only. T&Cs apply.