This page contains a photograph which is one of several belonging to the photo gallery pages which are part of several pages relating to the invention of the world's first automatic totalizator in 1913 and Automatic Totalisators Limited, the company founded to develop, manufacture and export these systems.

The Julius Tote in operation at Longchamps

Longchamps racecourse France circa 1929. The Julius tote that this building housed was nicknamed "The Insatiable Moloch" by a Paris newspaper. I took a photograph of this building in 2008 long after The Insatiable Moloch had been superseded by a computer totalisator in 1973, at which time this Julius tote had been operating for 45 years. The life span of computing systems has certainly changed since then! The French engineers employed by PMC, the company that replaced the old Julius Tote with a computer system, were so impressed by the old system that they felt compelled to donate parts of it to a Paris Museum.

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An Automatic Totalisators Limited company document written in 1930 titled The PREMIER (JULIUS) AUTOMATIC TOTALISATOR has a low resolution copy of this image in it. It is titled FIG. 5 The Main Totalisator Building ("Premier" Equipment) at Longchamps, Paris.

Following are extracts from the company document mentioned above that appear close to this image. This extract is the third in sequence in these pages after the extract associated with the image of Gloucester Park Trotting Track. It relates to the punter runner total displays versus odds displays which were available with Julius Totes after 1927 when Automatic Totalisators Limited invented the world's first odds computer:

In almost every totalisator installation, the Government or the Race Club makes a percentage deduction on the total moneys invested on every race. If, as has been the practice in the past, the totalisator records merely the aggregate number of tickets sold on the race, and the number of tickets sold on each horse, the bettor, in order to determine what his dividend is likely to be, has first to deduct the Government or Club tax from the grand total investment. Next, if it is a "Place" machine, he has to divide up the remaining amount on a certain fixed percentage basis to determine the amount of the pool available for the backers of each of the placed horses. Finally, he must divide the number of numbers so obtained by the number of tickets sold on the particular horse in which he is interested. Whilst he is dong all this, the wheels of the machine are rapidly moving and only those bettors who are continually using the machine, and who thus may have become quick at approximating the result, can obtain anything other than a very approximate idea of the amount of the dividend that they have a chance of winning.

Realising this disability, and realising also that the use of the mechanical totalisator is now spreading into countries which for years past, have handled all betting transactions through bookmakers (who, when making the sale, definitely inform the investor of the dividend to be paid if the horse is successful) the inventor of the Premier machine has concentrated upon the production of equipment that will do the whole of these calculations automatically and instantaneously, so that the machine, instead of merely displaying the number of tickets sold, may give the investor the information that he is seeking, namely the amount of dividend that he would actually receive (at the moment he makes his bet) should his horse prove to be the winner. These efforts have been entirely successful and such equipment is now available, and can be installed on any racecourse.

It may be added that, although the mechanical operation involved in making such calculations appears to be very complicated, yet the continuous addition, the percentage deduction, the division of pool between placed horses, and the final division of this last result by the number of investment s on each horse, are in fact effected with very simple and positive mechanism. The Premier Machine available to-day, and which combines all these advantages, is very much simpler than the mechanism originally installed in Auckland in 1913, which latter only gave the total of the tickets sold on each horse, and left the whole of the remaining calculations to be done by the investor.

The text immediately following this extract can be read by clicking on the image above and scrolling down to and selecting the image icon for the Ceylon Turf Club Colombo.