Sweepstakes and sports betting – how did the totalizators appear?

Sweepstakes and sports betting – how did the totalizators appear?

Sweepstakes are the separate type of betting. This term refers to both the office that accepts bets on horse racing and dog racing, and the device that is able to calculate the chances of a participant winning a competition.

As for the win, the bettor does not know about the amount in advance. He can only guess what his winnings will be if his bet plays. The organizers of the sweepstakes themselves take a certain percentage of the bets made, without taking part in the gambling game.

History of the sweepstakes

The history of the sweepstakes is rooted in the distant past. In 1917, sir George Julius ventured to turn his voting machine into the first automatic sweepstakes.

When professional gamblers came to Randwick to enjoy the spring racing carnival, more than a hundred years ago, they literally entered the modern era. Before that, they placed bets based on the participants ' chances of winning, predicted by the bettors themselves. But in 1917, the racetrack introduced its new automatic sweepstakes-a machine that performed calculations.

Housed in a private purpose-built building, the tote consisted of a series of copper gears, rods, wires, and pulleys. This was essentially a basic form of computer, but its only function was to determine the chance of a particular horse winning a race based on who had placed bets on its victory.

Engineering genius George Alfred Julius and his invention

 George Alfred Julius

The tote that everyone saw at the time was a modern computing machine developed by an Englishman who had been educated in New Zealand but was famous in Sydney – an engineering genius named George Julius.

He originally invented this technology for a different purpose, but remade it for use on the racetrack, knowing that he would easily find a buyer.

George Alfred Julius, born in Norwich in England on 29 April 1873, was the son of a clergyman who brought his family to Australia when he was appointed archdeacon of Ballarat. Julius was educated at the Melbourne Church of England grammar school in Victoria, but when his father moved the family to New Zealand in 1890, he received a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Zealand (at Canterbury College).

His father was a master, and Julius learned a lot from spending time with him in the workshop. He found work on the Western Australian Railways in 1896, but moved to Sydney in 1907 to work for a timber company, and decided that he would pursue his own private engineering practice.

How the apparatus for conducting fair elections turned into a sweepstakes

While Julius was in Washington, he discovered cases of electoral fraud and worked for several years to create a special tabulator for voting to minimize or eliminate the human factor using a machine that counts votes. Unfortunately, the government was not interested in his revolutionary voting device, so he looked for other people who might find the device useful.

When Julius had already sold one of the voting machines to buyers in new York, a friend convinced him that such equipment could be useful for accurately summing up bets in the racing industry. This must have put him in a moral dilemma. He did not gamble, and his father considered it a great evil. But then he thought that if he couldn't do a good job in fighting election fraud, he could at least do it in the gambling industry, which would still exist, whether he wanted to or not.

He developed a working model, which is now part of the collection Of the Museum of applied arts and Sciences in Sydney, and began creating his own calculation systems for tracks. One of them was installed at Ellersley Racecourse in Auckland in 1913. It was the world's first automatic tote, and although it was advanced, later inventions of this nature already used electrical elements.

Further development

In 1917, another sweepstakes opened on the track in Washington, and another in Queensland. In the same year, Julius founded his own company, Automatic Totalisators Ltd (ATL), and installed his first NSW car, which began operating in Randwick on 29 September. News outlets at the time reported that huge crowds of people were going to try out these machines. However, sources said that only one of the three cars was working on the first day. There was also some resistance to sweepstakes in New South Wales, particularly from the Tattersall Club, but this took a back seat to public demand.

In General, the machine was perfect for those times, because it could process much more data than people who previously determined the odds in their minds. Subsequently, Julius sweepstakes were installed on other tracks throughout Australia and around the world.

In 1919, Julius founded the Institute of Engineering, and in 1926 was appointed the first head of the Council for scientific and industrial research (later CSIRO).

Julius ' cars continued to run on race tracks across Australia until they were superseded by computers in 1970.

Totalizators today

Totalizators today

Today, bookmakers are much more popular than sweepstakes. The latter are gradually becoming a thing of the past. You can hardly get a big win here. They remained only in some bookmakers as a special form of betting.

The peculiarity of betting on the sweepstakes is that the player still does not know what win he will get if the bet is correct. The player can bet on the exact score or guess the main markets. Accordingly, the more people guessed the exact outcome, the smaller the win for each of them.

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