Bookies 101

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

With the sports betting business poised for tremendous growth, many people might be wondering how to become a bookie. There is increased interest in wagering on sports and there are no shortages of events and types of bets available on which to place bets.

Unlike as recently as a decade ago, sports betting has become more mainstream. The major sports leagues in North America have embraced the practice and have gone as far as forging relationships with sportsbooks. With the stigma of sports betting well in the past, it may be a good time for someone interested in the business to learn how to be a bookie.

For someone with a desire to enter the business, there a several steps they need to take in establishing a successful bookmaking practice. By doing so, it’s very reasonable to expect to profitably operate the business. bookie-teacher-2.png


Learn the Business 

The first step to learn how to be a bookie is to gain a solid understanding of the bookmaking business. This includes knowing about lines, odds, types of bets, managing risk, dealing with customers and how to be profitable. There are a number of resources to turn to for information about the industry.

There are numerous blogs and articles about sports betting, especially now that many states are instituting their own sportsbook sites and programs. YouTube videos, betting publications and wagering websites are some other great sources of information on sports betting.

Seeking out established and experienced bookmakers is a great way to get a solid understanding of what it takes to be successful. They will be able to share inside information about their own experiences in getting started in a fun but challenging business.  

Build a Prospective Customer Base 

No one can become a successful bookie without customers, so before committing to starting a bookmaking business, it’s critical to know where to find players. Chances are strong that anyone interested in learning how to be a bookie has a lifestyle that includes sports and wagering.

Golf courses, weekly poker games, sports bars and even neighborhood gatherings are terrific places to find potential customers. Perhaps there are people in that are dissatisfied with their current wagering options and are looking for a new bookie.

Other people, with the increase in popularity of sports betting, might be considering trying it out for the first time. After finding that there are enough possible customers that would place bets, it would be time to move forward with forming the foundation of the business.  

Use a Pay Per Head Sportsbook Service

The best way to present a professional impression and also facilitate a more profitable business is to utilize a Pay Per Head sportsbook service. Pay Per Head sportsbooks provide a full suite of services that allow bookies to take bets online, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

The service provides lines and odds on virtually all of the most popular sports leagues and events. A bookie’s customers can place wagers on the NFL, college football, the NBA, college basketball, the NHL, Major League Baseball, soccer, golf, tennis, MMA/UFC, motor sports and many others.

A large variety of wagering types are offered, including straight bets, parlays, teasers, reverse bets and proposition wagers. Live betting is also offered, adding more opportunities for customers to wager, thus increasing the bookie’s bottom line.

A Pay Per Head service offers an independent bookie the same technology utilized by the large, corporate sportsbooks. Without having to develop and maintain software, a bookie can provide their customers a state of the art wagering experience.

Perhaps the most important feature of is the tracking and reporting of customer activity. This frees the bookie from having to create their own tracking spreadsheets and manually entering betting information. Instead, they can spend their valuable time developing business and managing the relationships with their customers.

The fees charged are fixed for each player that places a bet during the billing cycle. It generally costs the bookie $7 - $15 per customer, depending on the size of their operation. The more customers, the lower the fee “Per Head”. The pricing method makes it easy for the bookie to budget their costs, while offering their customers a great wagering platform.

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