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Parimutuel betting

Last Updated: Jul 16, 2014 05:06PM CEST
The beginning of pari-mutuel betting or tote betting as it is commonly referred to nowadays was  created by Frenchman Pierre Oller in 1865. Oller came up with the brilliant idea of selling tickets on a horse race, keeping the wager in a common prize pool, and extracting a ‘handling charge’ of 5% after the race meeting. The remaining stake would then be split among the winners, based on the odds calculated for each horse. His idea was a breakthrough within the racing sport as he introduced it on the racecourse. Soon after that pari-mutuel betting became firstly legalized in France. However, high corruption rates have spoilt the fun for many enthusiastic punters such as the engineer Henry Straus, who thereupon founded the American Totalisator company with the help of his engineer colleagues. Together with his engineer fellows, Straus invented an electro-mechanical method that would accurately calculate the odds for each raxe and guarantee a correct payout.  Today, pari-mutuel betting has remained the same since its originally creation more than 100 years ago.

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