How do I Become a Bookie?


Betting on sports continues to grow in popularity each and every year and while there is no shortage of outlets booking bets in this billion dollar industry, there is still plenty of opportunity to start and run a very successful business as an independent bookmaker.

One of the most important aspects of becoming a private bookie is a thorough understanding of how the sports betting business works. There are some serious financial risks involved in booking bets so you need to know all the ins-and-outs of what it really takes to run your own book.

While there is a wealth of information on the Internet on how to become a bookie, one of the smartest courses of action is to actually find an independent bookmaker and pick their brains on how they got started. Gaining some first-hand experience in the sports betting industry from a seasoned veteran is a much better resource when conducting your due diligence for starting your own operation.

Another great resource for becoming a bookie is a reputable Pay Per Head provider. A PPH service works with private bookies to provide the day-to-day administrative support that goes into all the online transactions involved with booking bets. You can still run a very small local bookie operation on your own, but if you are really serious about building a viable sportsbook that is set for long-term profits, you are going to need the help of a Pay Per Head site.

The next thing you need to line up before booking sports bets is financial backing. While there is some serious money to be made booking bets, you need to have enough cash on hand to ride the up and down waves that come with the territory. A good starting point would be cash reserves of two to three times the action you plan to take in. The best course is to start slow with a few steady players and then build from there. Once your cash reserves reach a comfortable level you can begin expanding your customer base.

This leads to the most important aspect of running any kind of business; customers. While there are plenty of ways to find sports bettors, you want to build your bookmaking business with the recreational gambler that is far more prone to losing their bets than winning them. There are sharps (expert bettors) and betting syndicates lurking everywhere and you need to avoid them at all costs.

Friends and family are a great starting point to finding the right customers, but that is only going to take you so far. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to grow your customer base and many successful bookies got their start by the use of referrals from their existing clients. Once you decide to take your business online with the help of a PPH service, you can expand your marketing reach far beyond the local scene. This is when it becomes crucial to set both credit limits and betting limits for new customers which can always be expanded once you get a feel for their betting patterns.

Another successful strategy to becoming a bookie is to start as a sub-agent for an existing operation. This will give you the opportunity to get your feet wet without incurring all the risk. The best part of this start-up plan is that the terms of the arrangement with the master agent can be negotiated in a way that benefits both parties. You should always have the option of going it on your own at any given time with the customers you brought to the table.