When most people hear the word “bookie”, the first image that comes to their minds isn’t one of a private business owner, using knowledge of finance and marketing to run a profitable, legit, business.
But ever since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional &Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, bookmaking has crawled into the mainstream. Earlier this year, DraftKings (DKNG)became a publicly-traded company in the hopes that they could gather sports betting customers and grow into an online wagering behemoth.
Running a sportsbook isn’t just something large companies can do, though. Individuals have run sportsbooks, either online or off, for years.
In this age of social distancing and online meetings, many people have turned to sportsbook ownership as a viable online home business.
Although it sounds strange, anybody can learn how to run an online sportsbook. Keep reading to discover how to become a bookie in this handy guide to your options.
First, what is a bookie?
Let’s shut down a few bookie stereotypes. Most bookies don’t break legs. Sure, mob movies describe bookies as terrifying, sometimes one-eyed, individuals who march around threatening anybody who fails to pay them.
That’s in the movies. Also, most bookies don’t sit in back, underlit, room chomping on cigars, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and writing things on paper in invisible ink.
Bookmaking has a storied history in the UK and is building history in the United States. A bookmaker is a sportsbook owner or someone who works for a sportsbook owner.
What’s a sportsbook owner? If you’ve been to a Las Vegas casino, you know what sportsbooks do. They provide betting lines on sporting events, horse races, and other types of events, like who will win the U.S. Presidential Election.
Bettors wager on those events. In a brick and mortar sportsbook, bettors get a ticket after they’ve made their wager. In online sportsbooks, they get virtual tickets.
What bookies really do is provide a service. A bookie’s sportsbook allows bettors, bookies call them players, to make wagers on events where there will be an outcome.
When the Patriots battle the Steelers, there should be an outcome: one team will win, one team will lose, or the two teams could draw.
All a bookie does is allow his or her customers to make bets on the outcome of the event.
Now that you know what a bookie is and what bookmakers do, let’s get to the fun part. How does a person start a sportsbook and how does a bookie make money?
Decide if you want to go “old school” or sign-up with a pay per head company
The most important decision a person must make is to either decide to run their sportsbook the old-fashioned, offline, and with a tool like a pencil, or use pay per head sportsbook software.
That’s the most important decision a person must make before they start their bookie business. If the individual wishes to go old school, they should at least use an excel sheet.
Some bookmakers, pros who have done it since the Nixon Administration, continue to use a pencil, pen, paper, and rotary phone.
If you’re reading this, you didn’t start your sportsbook when Tricky Dick declared, “I’m not a crook!”
So, we won’t go over how to be an old school bookie.
For Sportsbook success, you must partner with a Pay Per Head company
To run a profitable, successful sportsbook, you must partner with a pay per head organization. What’s pay per head?
For a small fee, sportsbook owners use bookie software to run their bookmaking operations. Companies that offer PPH software are often run by former bookies.
Those bookies provide both customer front-facing interfaces where players can make wagers, and back end tools like financial transaction software. With the right PPH sportsbook provider as a partner, bookmakers mustn’t worry about anything required to run their online sportsbooks.
Keep reading for the five things you should look for in a pay per head company.
Top 5 things the best pay per head service companies offer
1. A functioning, flexible, agent payment system
Like any company, cash must flow. The best way to keep cash flowing in your sportsbook is through a bookie agent payment system.
System’s like PayPerHead.com’s Agent Payment Solution (APS®) allows players to deposit via eCheck, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, or credit card.
If players can’t easily get money into their accounts, they can’t make wagers. If bookmakers can’t easily collect or make payouts, they can’t run thriving sportsbooks.
2. Education – how to be a bookie blogs and advice
You mustn’t know about sports to run a profitable online bookie business. But, you must have access to educational materials so that you can learn how to turn your sportsbook into a profitable business.
Also, you want to understand your customers, sports bettors. So, make sure you sign-up with a per head company that provides plenty of educational blogs and are willing to give you advice.
3. A desire to make you a successful bookmaker
The more customers you sign-up the more you pay your pay per head partner. When you’re successful, they’re successful. That makes sportsbooks great internet home businesses.
Your pay per head partner is a true partner. They want you to make as much money as possible because they make more when you make more.
4. A layoff account
A layoff account exists as a “risk off the table” tool. The most important sports bet on NBA and NFL games are against the spread. Don’t worry if you don’t know what an ATS bet is.
Once you decide to become a bookie, your pay per head partner will explain it to you.
Your layoff account allows you to off-load risk on big wagers. Soon, it’s going to become an important bookmarking tool.
5. Promotions to help you build a profitable online sportsbook
Because pay per head companies make money with each customer you acquire, the good ones offer excellent promotions.
During the sports shutdown, a company like PayPerHead offered sportsbook software for free until two weeks after the first MLB game on July 23.
They weren’t the only per head company to offer excellent promotions to help bookies whether the sports shutdown. Make sure to check out promotions before signing with a specific pay per head organization.
Anybody can become a bookie
Pay per head companies has allowed it so that anyone with a desire can become a bookie. Nobody must have knowledge of sports.
What they must have is a desire to create a profitable, online home business. Once they get that desire, they can move to look for the right pay per head company to partner with.
Anybody can now run a profitable sportsbook. All they must do is choose the right pay per head partner.