First, “How To Start A Bookie Business” is mostly written for residents of the United States. It can be utilized in other countries but the tips on becoming a successful bookie are for Americans. Primarily, those who are living in or around medium to major cities. And, before we go any further, we need to add that this is article does not advocate that you become a sports bookie. In almost all jurisdictions, accepting bets without a license is illegal. It may lead to an arrest and prison time. We are not lawyers and we cannot fully explain to you the legal risks. This article is for entertainment purposes only.
How To Run Sports Book – Deciding Factors
If you’ve weighed the legal questions and have decided that you may want to run a small sports book – it’s time to consider if it’s worth your time or if it is even feasible. How large is the area in which you live? Do you live in a big city or a small town? Will there be enough people in your geographical location to make booking a viable income? You can start booking bets with just a few friends. You don’t necessarily need to be in a big city to begin.
It’s perfectly reasonable to start taking bets even if you have 4-5 players. This can still easily be worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars of income per year, depending on the size of their bets. There are local sports bookies that could easily have a decent income with 10-20 clients. Once that number gets higher, they can start making huge money. If you’ve decided that you want to book bets and could easily attract some initial customers, then let’s move forward to the next step.
Sports Bookie’s Pros:
- Small startup costs
- Recruit customers quickly
- Less customer management
Sports Bookie’s Cons:
- Illegal without license
- No legal means to collect losses
- Sports Bookmaking is a felony in many places
Money Needed For Successfulll Bookie Business
Depending on many clients you have and the betting limits that you offer – your bankroll requirements may vary. We talk extensively about bankroll management as a sports bettor, but bankroll management is even more critical if you’re taking and paying out bets.
These are stable baselines for bankroll requirements if you’re starting out. Hat tip to PricePerPlayer.com, for these guidelines, if you have 20-25 players and a $500 max bet per player. As you can see, to be safe, you need quite a bit of money to start booking bets and to be sure that you can pay. After all, if you expect your bettors to pay you when they lose, then you need to pay them when they win! Okay, so, moving on, how do you manage all these accounts and players?
Managing Your Sports Booking Operation
You could decide to take bets the old fashion way. Have a list of odds that you update regularly and record bets through an online system or over the phone. In our opinion, that’s far too much work and not worth your time. Also, you will get a far better product to offer bettors if you utilize a pay-per-head service.
There are lots of options when it comes to pay-per-head services. Most come with a fee of $10 per player but may be cheaper debating how many clients you have. Almost all these sites have betting options comparable to offshore sportsbooks, including similar markets, live betting, and even an online casino. Sometimes, if your players use extra these options, there may be an additional fee, but that is not always the case.
Pay-per-head sites will also come with the ability to manage player accounts. Set betting limits for individual players or add and subtract markets for specific accounts. You can even get detailed reports on earnings. It’s like being your own bookie, because, well, you are your own bookie!
Paying Players and Collecting Payments
This is the hardest part of becoming a bookie. Paying players and having them pay you. The first step is establishing a “settle up” date. This is traditionally on a Tuesday as it coincides with the last football game of a week with Monday Night Football.
Since most bettors wager on football, this makes sense as the best day to settle for the week. Being discreet when making payments is essential, but it’s not as if you need to be a secret agent. Meeting someone in a coffee shop, casino, or simply having them jump into your car for a second so you can hand off an envelope is perfectly fine. Don’t draw attention to yourself, but also there is no need to try to be 007.
Another option is settling up virtually, with cryptocurrencies. These are a favorite cashier option of online sportsbooks, but can also be used to settle bets if both parties agree. It’s an excellent way to do settles if you’re a local bookie, as there is no need to meet in person and no paper trail.
What If Someone Doesn’t Pay?
This is bound to happen to you if you’re a bookie. It’s time to settle up, and the player either doesn’t have the money or isn’t answering your phone calls or texts. He’s dodging you because he owes you money. You can text and be firm that he must pay, but you need to leave it at that. Threatening someone or physically attacking someone over a sports betting debt is not a good idea. It’s terrible for your business and something you simply should not do. Your life is not a mafia movie.
It’s also up to you to be aware of someone’s financial situation. You shouldn’t be allowing a cashier at a grocery store or a server at a restaurant to have large betting limits and rack up thousands in debt. In many cases, it’s your own fault if you allow someone to rack up a massive debt with no ability to pay. If someone can’t pay but finally starts answering your texts – set up a payment plan. If you can’t get the full amount they owe, just settle for the maximum that you think they can pay you. That way you will still get something, instead, of potentially being stiffed the full amount if you demand the total sum – if they can’t possibly pay this amount.
Recruiting New Customers
This is another tricky area when it comes to booking bets and something to consider when before you decide to take bets. It’s important to tell your players that they can say to their friends that they bet and have a bookie but to let you know if they give your number out to someone new. You should try to create a profile of each player.
What type of job do they have? Do they pay on time? What kind of wagers do they make? When you’re vetting a new player, you should be sure that he hasn’t run up a debt with another bookie in town and is now coming over to you. You should also ask when he started betting or for example, why he decided to start gambling in the middle of football season.
How To Start A Bookie Business – Putting It All Together
The above tips will set you up on a stable path if you want to start booking sports bets. We cover the topic of local bookies more extensively from the bettor’s side, as well. Remember, most sports bettors lose, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to take bankroll management and player profiles seriously. Preparation is critical, after that, it should be relatively to easy to manage a small to medium sized operation by yourself.