How Do I Become a Bookie? Build Volume, Love Your Customer and Play Golf

Written by:
Ean Lamb
Published on:
How Do I Become a Bookie? Build Volume, Love Your Customer and Play Golf

How does one become a bookie, you might be asking?  Or do you really want to be a bookie?

It doesn’t matter the time of year, gamblers will always find something to bet on and bookies…well…they will always be lining their pockets (since the house never loses).  So, yes, becoming a bookie can be a lucrative business.

Just as with any business, it’s all about building a solid customer base.  And while you may have heard the old saying “the customer is always right”, this doesn’t necessarily mean that every customer is good for your business., which currently offers a four-week free trial set up period and $10 per head (charge per customer),  understands the value of volume with a special emphasis on quality customers.

Let’s face it, what bar wants a regular who only comes in and drinks cranberry juice all night while, of course, complaining about what’s on the television.  He wants to watch the Golf Channel all night while the rest of your more high-end clientele want to watch football and basketball games.

Bookies will get a few of these cranberry juice-drinking Golf Channel viewers.  The focus needs to be on the champagne drinker who is watching more than one television, focusing on multiple games.  He or she will keep drinking and they probably won’t complain as much either.

From Real Bookies:

You will always want to add what you believe are solid customers, not only to expand your business, but also to replace those customers who have proven to be bad debt or simply have been worn down by the house advantage. Understanding that the customer who plays only $100 a game will lose $3,000 to $4,000 over the course of any given season should give you plenty of incentive to hit the bricks. If you use your time wisely, reaching a customer base of 200 or so (a little better than average) should be no problem.

The cranberry juice-drinker watching the Golf Channel will tend to keep to himself.  The more high end spender will likely talk and tell his buddies about your business.  Understanding this concept, Real Bookies suggests treating your customers with respect and paying them in a timely fashion.  In the end, it’s all about word of mouth.  Your best customers are going to spread the word and you need to treat them right. 

Okay, we the Golf Channel analogy might not have been the best to use.  Real Bookies suggest that the golf course is a great place to meet fellow gamblers and build up a clientele.

Golfers love to gamble. Whether it is a $1-a-hole or $500-for-closest-to-the-pin wager, money changes hands when buddies get together on the links. Visit a golf warehouse or discount store, and the clerk there should be able to provide you with the names of several local private clubs you can join. Many have stipulations that you have to be sponsored by a current member of the club, but some don’t. Find one where the membership fee is only $1,000 or so, plus monthly dues, and join. Besides improving your golf game (never a bad thing), being a member of the club will allow you to meet the other members of the club. Whether it is on the fairway or in the clubhouse, most of these men will enjoy a friendly wager from time to time.

You should be discreet when divulging how you make your living, but a cell phone call from a cart while the other three are deciding which club to use will start the conversation.

We were previously using a bar analogy and it is true that bars are another great place for bookies to build up their clientele.

Select a few bars in different parts of your city and become a regular.

This does not mean you also become an alcoholic, as ginger ale or cranberry juice is usually what I order. (Trust me when I say that getting a DUI is not a fun thing, and it is even less so when the arresting officer sees that you have a hundred copies of the official betting schedule in your backseat. That’s what law enforcement refers to as a “clue.” But back to bars.) When I say select a few “bars,” I am not talking about a T.G.I. Fridays or Chilis. I am talking about real bars. You know, the kind where when you walk in you can’t see anything for a minute or two until your eyes adjust. Real bars don’t have 143 televisions. They usually have one above the bar and one in the back room where the card tables are.

Find a few establishments like this and you have also just found a couple more customers. Go in, sit at the bar, and begin watching television. When you curse a basketball player for missing a free throw when his team is up by 17, the gamblers in the joint will know why you are upset. Most likely, they will be the ones to bring up sports wagering. “Who ya’ got?” is a common opener. When you reply, “I’ve got something on every team,” the conversation is started, and pretty soon you have another reason to visit the bar. Settle-up day.

Okay so nothing wrong with the cranberry juice, but just be sure to eat something as well, don’t complain and avoid watching the Golf Channel.  There’s a difference between playing golf and watching outdated tournaments.

- Ean Lamb,

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