The Tote Review 2017 – Read our Tote rating in five minutes flat!
The Tote (also known as Tote Ireland) is wholly owned by Horse Racing Ireland and has forged itself into the very heart of Irish horseracing with their inclusion of the Totalisator lottery and accumulator at 25 racecourses in the ROI as well as co-existing with the Tote pools in the UK from 2008. Online betting has been available since 2005.
Since the inception of tote betting, there have been many impressive jackpot wins, and these are usually shared between several people. However, none can surpass the huge €207,000 won by a single winner at Leopardstown in 1988!
As well as offering Irish tote betting, the site also offers betting on other worldwide horse racing meetings, giving you a chance to explore UK, US and French markets as well. Greyhound betting and football pool betting is also included on the site.
The result of our OpenOdds Tote Sportsbook review
Welcome to our Tote sportsbook review where you’ll find all the information you need to decide if the bookie is for you. At the Tote you won’t find fancy graphics or a huge sports selection, but what you will find is an exciting prospect – pick a handful of horses, greyhounds or football teams and if the results go your way you can scoop a heck of a lot of cash. Because the Tote is home to tote betting and with tote betting anything can happen, and we doubt there is anything more exciting than being one race away from taking home the jackpot!
We’ve rewarded the site handsomely for their hard work and utilitarian style, and we’d expect nothing less of a business that is managed by Irish racing itself. All the site’s profits go back into the racing industry which makes a nice change in a sport where money is king. We also loved how you can play using your mobile phone to bring tote betting to your fingertips. The final Tote rating was a very respectable 68. This might not seem like much, but with limited options on other sports and a lack of in-play betting (not possible in tote betting) it is a fair reflection of the bookmaker. Be sure to check out other Tote reviews online to make an informed decision before parting with your cash.
Experiences with : The strongest bookmaker in Britain
- No betting limits
- Simple to use site
- Generous sign up bonus
- A company to trust
- Great site security
01.Bonuses: A great little Tote bonus for new sign ups
Our favourite bit of the Tote review! Those who sign up for The Tote can benefit from being awarded up to €100 euros back when placing qualifying bets. This is a little bit of a complex offer, but it can work out like some of the best free bets offers, so bear with us while we explain the details.
You need to deposit and place your first bet of at least €10. You’ll then be given €10 back as a bonus. After this you will need to place a further nine bets (so 10 in total) to be awarded a maximum of €40. This is calculated by taking the average value of your first 10 bets. This figure will be rewarded to you as a bonus. So, for example your first bet was for €10 and your following nine bets were for €5, you would receive the Tote bonus of €5.50 That would be the average of 10+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5 divided by the amount of bets (10). This means you would need to bet €400 over your 10 bets to receive the maximum bonus of €40.
Finally, providing you spend a minimum of €60 during one week of your first four weeks (Mon-Sun) using the site you’ll receive €12.50 back the following Monday. Do this every week of the first four weeks and you’ll receive a cool €50.
02.Customer services:Limited telephone support
As well as an FAQ online to help with any queries you may have, the Tote also provides customer service support via telephone between the hours of 9:30am to the off of the last Irish race. Separate contact centres are available for Ireland, the UK and the rest of the world. Do note that these are local rate numbers in Ireland and a Freephone number in the UK. You can also email email@example.com to get in touch with customer service if you’d prefer. The one downside to the site is the lack of live chat which would be ideal to fill the gap between phone line customer service hours for customers overseas or those who have urgent queries. Get this right and the Tote would have been getting a nifty 10/10 from us.
As well as the FAQ the Tote have also provided a beginner’s guide to betting which is available at the bottom of the screen. We think this easy to follow guide is a great idea to free up the customer service line from gaming queries and also help inform the customer at the same time.
03.Sports covered:Not much choice, but a different betting approach
While most bookmakers offer a wide selection of sports betting, the Tote is simpler in their offerings. Visitors to the site can bet on three different sports; horse racing, greyhound racing and the football. All bets placed on the site are pool type bets with great odds that should mean the website ranks well in any betting odds comparison.
As well as placing bets on the 35 Irish race meetings, players can also place bets at 13 UK fixtures and a host of international racing locations in France, the US, Dubai and South Africa amongst others. The reassuring thing about betting on the Tote Ireland is that the site is managed by Horse Racing Ireland and all profits from these bets go back into the Irish racing industry for future investment in the industry, which is great.
04.Payment methods:Few choices for deposit and withdrawals
There are three ways that you can place money in your Tote account, and the first two are a little old school. You can send cash or a cheque directly to Tote Ireland in Ballymany along with your Tote account number and contact details. This is by far the slowest method of adding funds to your account taking up to five days for the Tote to process your payment. On top of this you obviously have to consider the security of sending funds through the post.
You can also telephone the Tote to place a payment using your card details. The phone number is open between 9:30am and the start of the final race on race day so you are restricted as to when you can place deposits. Still, this is a secure method that uses data encryption in the same way that online payments do.
Lastly you can sign up for an account online and register your card details with the Tote. To place bets using your card you need to select the Deposit Now button and add your credit/debit card number and security confirmation. After the first deposit you will not need to enter your card details again, just your security information to ensure it is you placing the bet.
05.Security:Is the Tote safe? Excellent protection and responsible gambling
The serious bit of our Tote review now. Tote are regulated and licensed by the Gambling Commission in the UK who regulate the UK gambling industry by ensuring that bets are fair and impartial and gambling is not used by those under the age of 18 or becomes a source of income for criminal activities. Businesses can be fined if they do not comply with their strict guidelines and licenses can be revoked if necessary.
As part of their adherence with the Gambling Commission’s guidelines, the Tote uses SSL encryption to ensure that card details and personal information is kept safely away from those who would exploit the information.
The site also practices responsible gambling which is there to protect vulnerable players from developing an issue with problem gambling. Self-exclusion is offered to players who can withdraw from site gameplay for a minimum period of six months all the way up to five years if they wish. Alternatively, a deposit limit can be placed by the user to minimise losses on site. Is the Tote safe? We’d like to think so.
06.In-play offering No options here
Unsurprisingly, as you would expect from a tote betting provider, TheTote doesn't offer in-play betting due to being solely focused on horse racing (aside from offering football pools). It's relatively uncommon to find an operator that does offer in-play horse betting, with only a few offering this service. As such, we can't really penalise TheTote for this. Ultimately, it does what it set out to do — offer a variety of ways to partake in tote betting.
07.User-friendliness:Mobile friendly for modern betting
If you’re looking for a mobile friendly site to place tote bets on then this is the site for you. Not only is there a special mobile version of the website available but there is also a dedicated Tote app created for iPhone users.
Another interesting feature of the Tote is the ability to bet on track by using an account card sent to you when signing up on the site. The card means that you don’t have to carry cash. You can simply use the account card at any Irish meeting and payment will be taken.
Coming back to the site, there are a few things of note. Firstly, the appearance of the site is a little dated and features a simple white background with a red top banner. Text is in either white or grey. While criticism of a site’s appearance might seem trivial, this minimises contrast which can be a huge issue for those with visual impairment, and as this makes up the bulk of the site this is something that should be addressed sooner rather than later.
Layout however, is great on the site. All the menus that you could need are displayed at the top of the page and promotions is the first when reading left to right to encourage customers to sign up and take advantage of the latest sports betting bonuses offered on the bookmaker’s site.
08.In-play product:None offered
Because the bets for horse and greyhound racing fall under the pool betting category you cannot place your bets while in play. This would create an unfair advantage during the race for those waiting for a final result. But that’s what makes betting on tote pools so exciting. Imagine sitting on five winners in the Scoop6 and watching in anticipation as your final horse takes off from the pack on an exhilarating romp to victory!
Football pools also get the same treatment. Here though you pick the teams before the fixtures take place and bet on them. You can select from a variety of score markets and then nervously wait until match time to get your results. Obviously there is no chance of in-play betting here either, but that’s the nature of the bet.
09.Other products:No added choices
Next up in our Tote review we take a look at any other products the bookie may offer its punters. And this is where the site falls down. You see, there are no further products offered on site, which is a shame as so many bookmakers now provide casino games and slot machine bets to tempt you to stay on the site. We at OpenOdds are not sure that this matters though as the site offers a specialist tote betting service that its competitors cannot provide. This will ensure to ongoing popularity of the site for years to come.
10.Bet limits:No limits here!
Looking at the site FAQ for betting limits was a little perplexing. Usually there would be guidelines telling you that you can bet up to a maximum value to limit a site’s losses, but with the Tote there was nothing. So off we went in search of information on the internet, and it turns out this wasn’t some misinformation or clever omitted betting condition – the Tote really doesn’t have a betting limit, meaning that you can place your wagers safe in the knowledge that should you win a jackpot it won’t be capped at a certain figure.
Bets can be placed for as little as €1 on site offering tempting returns for a small outlay.
Our Verdict of : The Tote
So, what did we make of the Tote? Well, where other sites may offer lots of gaming choice, the Tote is a simpler creature than that, providing just three options for your betting needs. But don’t think that’s a criticism! In fact, the site is a specialist in its field of providing tote bets to the masses. Not just this, but we’re impressed with the security measures taken on site to make sure that your bets and your personal information is safe and secure.
We admit though, we would like to see more deposit options. You’ve got a choice of cash, card or cheque, which in today’s market is somewhat restrictive when it comes to bringing in the punters. Either way, we’re happy to recommend the site and its unique spin on sports betting to the masses thanks to its tempting suggestion of huge winnings for very little outlay.
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The Tote: Opinions & Experiences of actual users
Well we’ve come to the end of the Tote review and would love to hear from you to see if you agree with how we’ve ranked the site. Did you have a positive experience with the Tote or would you have given the site a lower rating than we did? Help us to grow our betting community by sending in your own Tote reviews to inform other bettors just like you.