Here we go again, with another bookie review, and a return to the racetrack… for this is where the action is definitely at with Totesport. Enjoy!
1. Aesthetics & Navigation
Apart from being the 4th largest bookie in the UK, Totesport has been longer in operation than any of its main competitors; since 1928 in fact, though of course it started life as a UK Government-owned institution. Totesport originally used to focus purely on horse racing, but today they offer more sports and services, online as well as offline. That said, their horse racing roots are still very much apparent.
The site looks a bit clumsy at first and one has to get used to the unusual layout. On the top navigation bar for example you will notice various tabs – totepool, racing odds, sports odds, casino, games, bingo and mobile. Now, call me a thick gal, but my first impression from the ‘Totepool’ was that they have special markets or odds available for pool, billiards or snooker! So I clicked on Totepool and voila, we are presented with the main page for all sorts of sports markets… very strange!
It turns out of course that the pool in question relates to the ‘pool betting’ facility that Totepool is uniquely placed to offer in the UK. Indeed, Toteport remains the only organisation in the UK which is allowed to run pool betting on horse racing. Punters in effect pay into a pool (from which the “house take” is removed), then make a selection on an event outcome, with the pool being evenly divided between those that have made the correct selection. It follows that there are no odds involved; as each winner’s payoff depends simply on the number of participants, and of course on the number of winners.
The emphasis of the Totepool (and indeed the site in general) remains on horse racing, because the first pieces of information appearing on the screen are today’s top races, scheduled races and the results. The navigation bar on the left then allows you to switch to the sports you may like to try your luck on.
Aesthetics Score out of 10 – 6.
Sports – As mentioned in the introduction, this bookie really seems to be in love with the four legged animals with a 5’1” and 100lbs jockey on top! But other sports are represented as well, such as greyhound races, football, cricket, golf, motor sports, rugby (both league and union), snooker, tennis cycling, boxing, American football and baseball.
In-Play – The layout of the betinplay section, as Totesport calls it, is simple and those events that are already underway or scheduled are listed according to the time of the kick-off/start etc. One has to get used to the fact that the matches & events are presented in this time sequence, unlike other bookies who list the country’s or their punters’ favourite sports first. For those who like listening to selected events, there’s a live radio cast available.
Casino, Games, Bingo – Only for those who really want to test online gambling systems or strategies and not Lucy’s tested and recommended betting systems.
Mobile – For those who want to bet on the go, there’s a mobile service available. Click on the link and you get one of those digi-bar code pictures in order to make a snapshot with your smartphone camera and the app will be installed automatically. I haven’t tested this service. They claim that it provides a simpler navigation and integrated Racing Post spotlights, course information etc., as well as the place market fixed-odds racing bets.
Services Score out of 10 – 7.
3. Payment Methods
Totesport accepts all major credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, and a range of UK/Irish debit cards like Delta, Laser, Solo, Switch, but only one e-wallet provider, which is Skrill in this case.
Payment Methods Score out of 10 – 6.
New punters who open an account will receive a free bet bonus worth £10. They offer bundles for horse races (of course!) and other sports events; subject to availability. No other promotions at the moment.
Offers Score out of 10 – 8.
Totesport is first and foremost a site for horse racing lovers. If this is your thing, you’ll love the Totepool section that brings you straight into everything that goes on at various racetracks in the UK, Ireland and the rest of the world. There are good options to win quite a sum of dosh, or even a jackpot, in particular with their special totescoop6 accumulator option. They also offer the possibility of securing longer prices via their Totewin service – which is claimed to deliver, on average, around 7% more than Industry SP. There is also an innovative text betting service.
Summary Score out of 10 – 7.