What is Tote?
Tote Ireland Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Horse Racing Ireland, with responsibility for the operation of a Totalisator on the 26 racecourses in the Republic of Ireland. Tote Ireland is at the heart of Irish Horseracing, providing a wide variety of betting options for all race goers. including:
Horse Racing Betting
All profits made by Tote Ireland are used for the improvement of Irish Horseracing.
Tote betting works like this: all the stakes on a race are pooled; a deduction is made to cover costs and our contribution to racing. The remainder of the pool is divided by the number of winning units to give a dividend (© TOTE IRELAND LTD.), which is inclusive of a €1 stake.
In other words, Tote Ireland customers bet into a common pool, betting against one another, whereas in bookmaking, they bet against the bookmaker. The Tote odds may fluctuate according to the pattern of betting and the amount of money staked on each horse. Betting ceases at the "off" of each race.
In 1929 the Totalisator Act was passed for mechanical pool betting in Ireland with the Totalisator borrowing 20,000IR punts from sponsored races. It's first meeting in Fairyhouse on the 21st of April 1930, offered win and place betting from 35 windows and had a Tote turnover of 5,035IR punts. By the end of 1930, with it's best meetings at Punchestown, The Curragh, Galway and Tramore, the Tote had sold a million tickets at 87 race meeting amassing 100,000IR punts.
In 1932 Tote Account was established, accepting bets by telegram. Also that year the Tote attracted investors to the company and seven years later in 1939 slot machines were introduced, operating a single machine for each horse. By their end in 1965 they had sold 60 million tickets.