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College Bookies Expect to Make Out Like Bandits

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jul/28/2011
College Bookies

With a good chunk of the US sports betting business going under ground this NFL and NCAA Football season, college bookies are licking their chops.

In recent years, the college bookie has had to contend with online sportsbooks and offshore credit shops, both of which exist today, but in smaller numbers and most, if not all, require extensive identification documentation. 

College bookies in the past have often earned four to five times more per year than their friends working at McDonald’s or the local pizzeria. 

In 1995, before the advent of the online sportsbook, college bookies the likes of J.P. Browman, earned $42,000 serving around 100 sports bettors while attending the University of Florida.

Dealing with locals and the campus kids, professional sports bettors for the most part are cut out of the equation, making college bookmaking (and corner bookmaking) a lucrative profession.

"If you're a big-time bookie and you're dealing with big-time bettors, they'll notice flaws in your lines," JP told Sports Illustrated back in 1995 as part of their series on college gamblers and bookmakers, "because those [big-time bettors] are sick. They're like psychiatrists, analyzing everything. The bettors I deal with don't do that. They're just loyal to their teams and not very smart at all.

Back then, JP needed a partner who could help manage his client base.  Today there are companies that will do this for the local bookmakers for a small fee per customers (or per head).  

International Data Solutions is one such company.  In addition to betting on football, IDS offers wagering on horses and most other professional sports (including European sports and live betting), an online casino platform, a state-of-the-art technology and security infrastructure (including Cloud hosting) and they provide various language components (i.e. Español)

Prohibitive measures taken by US authorities seems likely to fuel and already growing problem of compulsive gambling on college campuses. 

A study conducted by Jennifer L. McComb and William E. Hanson, both of Purdue University, found that 4 out of 5 college students admit to gambling, and that approximately 8% gamble problematically.

The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) contracted with the University of South Florida’s Center for Research, Evaluation, Assessment, and Measurement (CREAM) to conduct a survey of Florida college students regarding their gambling practices and associated behaviors.  The findings show that 66.2% of the total sample (77.8% males; 60.6% females) report gambling on at least one activity in the past year.  Sports-related gambling emerged as a very popular form of gambling amongst male students. When considering the rates of participation for all three types of gambling [placing bets on professional (26.0%) and non-professional (18.1%) teams as well as participating in sports pools (17.9%)], the popularity of this pastime becomes evident.

Mike C. will be entering his senior year at the University of Florida.  The Pensacola, Florida, resident and Economics major told our own Jenny Woo he expects his business to be booming now that the NFL lockout is over and fewer college students can access sites online.

“I have about 35 guys and 3 girls that place bets with me but a lot of the people I know on campus were betting with Sportsbook.com, BetUS.com and BetED,” Mike told Ms. Woo.

Sportsbook.com and BetUS.com stopped advertising heavily in the US market due primarily to the limited payment solutions available.  While both still technically accept US players, many of Mike’s friends were under the assumption they won’t be.  Worse still, a few individuals in Mike’s circle of friends ended up burnt by the abrupt closure of BetED.com back in May.  That online recreational sportsbook got caught up in an elaborate sting operation orchestrated by the Baltimore US Attorney’s Office and Homeland Security. 

“Word is out and these guys are a little more inclined to stay local.”

One of the benefits of call center/bookie/agent management businesses like IDS is that, aside from having to pay a set fee per head/client, these companies do not handle any of the money being wagered.  The local bookie takes the bets, collects the winnings and pays out the losses. 

“I think this year I can double the number of clients I have betting with me,” Mike suggested.  “It’s going to be a very good year and I thank US law enforcement and Congress,” he quipped.

- Alejandro Botticelli, Gambling911.com

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