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The Story of Totesport

'Totesport', as the company is now known, has an unconventional and chequered history. This bookmaker was once owned by the government, formed in 1928 as the Horserace Totalisator Board. It was the job of the board, when established by Winston Churchill, to provide citizens of the United Kingdom with an alternative to the many illegal bookmaking establishments that were springing up across the country. Later, when the industry became more widespread and the prevalence of illegal institutions diminished, the Tote was under instruction to redistribute funds to another government board, the Horserace Betting Levy Board.

It was in the early 1990s when the notion of selling of the Tote was first touted but wasn't until 2010, under the premiership of the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, that the sale took place. Betfred was chosen by Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, as the successful candidate and the bookmaker bought the Tote for the reported figure of £265 million.

The firm has had a boost in popularity under their new owners, the brand occupying a total of 514 stores across the country. It is also possible to bet with Totesport online as well as via their telephone betting service and at a number of racecourses across the country.

Whilst, like many of their competitors, Totesport widen their customer base through the exploration of sponsorship opportunities, the bookie is perhaps best known for their collaboration with broadcaster Channel 4 on their Scoop6 competition. This competition sees punters try to find the winners of six different televised races, the victor often winning a sum of money in the millions of pounds. Indeed it was this competition that was responsible for producing the first ever horse racing millionaire. With a placepot for those who succeed in finding six placed horses in each of the eligible races, the Scoop6 continues to go from strength to strength.

Navigating Totesport

Registered Totesport punters will have to click on the green 'Login' button in the top right hand corner of the Totesport sportsbook homepage to be able to type in their username and password. Should you be using your account for the first time since the new redesigning of the website, you will have to reset your password.

Beneath this initial banner are links to the different areas of the Totesport website. From the home and sports pages, customers can pass through to the in-play section and those areas of the site dedicated to the casino and games as well as those concerning the Totepool and lotto. The Totepool is Totesports' exclusive lottery-style game. Moving from one of these tabs to one of the others may open up a drop-down menu holding further links.

Starting from the left hand side of the sportsbook homepage, you will be able to see what the site call its 'Betting Highlights' a series of links to the most popular areas of the website. At the time of writing some of the links listed here are such things as 'Football In-Play' and 'IIHF World Championships'. These will change depending on what Totesport users are most interested in.

Beneath this first set of links is another, this one much longer and containing every sports market on which punters can place a bet. The categories in this section are listed in alphabetical order to aid ease of use and also include non-sporting markets such as TV, politics and lottery.

Further down the leftmost column of the page you will see a link to take you to the live commentaries that can be listened to through Totesport as well as a link to change the displayed odds from fractions to decimals or an American-style.

In keeping with the minimal, uncluttered style of the newly redesigned sportsbook homepage there will be nothing up the right hand side of the homepage until you place something on your betslip. Simply do this by finding your variable of choice and clicking on the displayed odds. This will send your desired outcome to your betslip and allow you to place your bet.

Bets are placed by the customer entering their stake and hitting the 'Place bets' button. Check the each-way box should you want to receive each-way terms for twice your original stake. When typing in the amount you wish to commit to your wager, you will see that the potential returns will appear. Whilst there is an option to retain your bet on your betslip after placing your wager, there is also a really handy device that allows users to check their bets before committing to it. This will cut down on those unwanted wagers and help those less experienced bettors.

Offers and Promotions

All Totesport promotions can be accessed through the green banner that appears when scanning the sportsbook homepage. The relevant tab reads 'Sports Promotions'. The first promotion that you will encounter when moving to this page is the new customer deal that sees all first time participants receive a free matched bet up to the value of £25. Click the terms and conditions tab to read that your free matched bet will be credited within 48 hours and that your stake must be of at least £1 and placed on an outcome with odds of evens or greater.

Registering as a Totesport user then allows you to receive value in the shape of the bookie's recurring promotions and deals. There are currently three horse racing promotions that you can sink your teeth into, the first of these being their best odds guarantee. This guarantee promises that customers will get their winnings returned at their selections' starting price should this SP be greater than the early price already taken. This means that it is nearly always worth taking the early price when betting on horse racing at Totesport.

Another horse racing promotion sees users receive bonuses on their winning Lucky bets. The odds on one winner are trebled on all winning Lucky15 wagers whilst they are quadrupled on a winner for those with winning Lucky31 tickets. Finally you will receive five-times the odds on one winner should you have made a winning Lucky63 wager.

There's a similar offer run in conjunction with the bookmaker's super bonus races, the punter in receipt of either a 15%, 50% or 100% bonus on their winnings should they come up with the goods on their Canadian, Yankee or Heinz using the six lucky bonus races featured.

Football fans will receive a pair of promotions upon registering with Totesport. The first is the 'Double Delight, Hattrick Heaven' offer that has been made famous by parent company Betfred. This means that if your successful first goalscorer selection hits a brace, you will receive twice the previously taken odds. Similarly, if your first goalscorer fancy earns himself a hattrick, you will be in receipt of winnings to the value of treble your previously taken price. There is a similar 'Double Delight' deal running on rugby games.

The second of these recurring football deals sees all punters receive their stakes back on losing correct score bets should the match in question end 1-1. The terms and conditions of this deal state that this offer only applies to televised matches and that the wager should not exceed £50 in value.

The only other offer up for grabs at Totesport concerns the Indian Premier League though these deals are regularly revised and updated so it's always worth checking back. Terms and conditions apply to all promotions.