BETTING ODDITIES: Dear Tote, here’s that idea (again)

BETTING ODDITIES: In his latest weekly blog, DAVID STEWART takes a sideways look at some of the stories making the news in the betting world and beyond.

Attheraces was born in Alexandra Terrace, Guildford. Long before the TV channel started, I was part of the embryonic web team to support the channel launched by triumvirate of Arena Leisure, Channel 4 and SKY. Daily horse racing on your TV (and now mobile, tablet and PC), now taken for granted, was really revolutionary back in 2002. The future.

Part of the remit then was a close working relationship with the Tote. The belief was the Tote was a sleeping giant, the preferred method of betting overseas and had untapped potential when combined with the trusted quality of live UK horse racing content.

It didn’t quite pan out that way. what no-one foresaw was the growth of the betting exchanges (going by then but considered a specialist area for minorities) and far from being a sleeping giant the Tote was more about, well, sleeping.

Fast forward to 2020 and reading Simon Nott’s blog today about the all new Tote ‘matching’ the SP returns rather than aspiring to do better brought back a few memories.

16 years ago I presented an idea to the Tote which was liked but the computer said no in terms of the technology being able to cope with it.

16 years later I present it again, without any consultancy charges.

And it’s simply this. Keep the Placepot and Jackpot bets open throughout racing rather than closing business at the start of the first race.

It’s the PERFECT bet for a cashout, you’ve got to leg 5 and are still in – offer the punter an amount and it comes down to Deal Or No Deal?

But crucially it ALSO allow punters to buy back into the bet (at a premium). So if their ticket blows out after the first leg they can re-inject it back into the pool, at the market price per line. Hey presto you’ve then got a vibrant pool bet with more liquidity, more interest from punters, more profit and more returned to the sport.

Tote Control Desk,, it’s over to you.


Can you read the price on this item?

No? me neither.  I had to take pot luck at the checkout when purchasing a pair of, er, reading glasses.


I quite often walk past this crane in Kingston town centre. If there was a cheque for £1 million at the top I still couldn’t climb that ladder.

It’s a fear of heights which has got much worse as I’ve got older.

Quite why I’m discussing this on a blog and not a doctor is probably another subject altogether.


DAVID STEWART is a freelance digital betting producer and journalist. His CV includes: The Sun, The Sporting Life, Racing Post, At The Races, The Sportsman, lead feature writer for Sky’s Betview magazine and senior producer Timeform Radio.

Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.