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Must Read Guide to Becoming a Bookie

by admin on Monday, January 9th, 2012

BookieSo you’ve been thinking you want to be a bookie but you’ve hit a wall on getting your business up and running. Or maybe you’ve been sportsbooking for years but you’re in a rut and don’t know where to turn. Let’s look at a few key elements to the bookmaking industry that will help get you started in the right direction.

Newbie Bookies

Are you the guy in the crowd that always knows the line on the game and frequently extends his hand to make a wager on sports? Do you see patrons at your local watering hole placing bets with one another and thinking to yourself “I’d take that action”? Do you know people who have opened accounts with offshore post up sportsbooks and been disappointed in the service they received?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you may be ready to become a bookie but you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and do some work. Let’s take a look at some of the top things you need to know about becoming a bookmaker.


Being a bookie is ultimately about moving money around between your players. The best thing that could happen to you believe it or not is to payout on some winning bets in your 1st few weeks. Players like to brag about getting paid and this will solidify you as the “real deal” in the minds of your clients. If you pay your winners promptly you should expect them to pay you promptly when they lose. Calculate your maximum weekly loss and start with a float that will cover at least 3 weeks.


Never forget that you are running a business. Your gambling days are done, from here on out it is all about risk management and account organization. This does not have to be a huge undertaking but details are important. Get familiar with office management software programs and get ready to do some accounting. Bookmaking is a numbers game, debits and credits in and out of player accounts.

You need to make some important decisions before you start such as sports that you will or won’t take action on, betting limits for various wagering options or payout caps on parlays. Remember that it’s your business and there is risk involved. Don’t let anyone, especially your players, pressure you into taking bets that you’re not comfortable with.


You will need to grow your business if you want to make any money. Losers pay the winners and you take your cut from the vig so you need a good player base to stay ahead. A good size player roster to shoot for by yourself is around 30 players. Any more than that and you will need to start employing some help. Start with people you can trust and get them to refer more players who should also be trustworthy. Sports bars are a great recruiting ground for clients but you should cut the key staff members in on the action if you want to operate freely. They can give you the inside scoop on regulars who might be interested in a little action on the games.


Legal issues may or may not be a concern for you but here are a couple of tips to help you stay under the radar.

1)      Be selective about who you take bets from, don’t just take people at face value, get to know prospective clients before you book their action. Not only will you be more comfortable taking their bets but you’ll also have a better idea of their wager loss limit.

2)      Distance yourself from being “the man”. People’s perception of you as a bookie is important. If you make a big show of yourself as being in charge of everything you may draw unwanted heat. Take a vague and non-committal attitude about your inner operations so as to more easily deflect unwanted inquiries. As far as anyone is concerned you act as a facilitator that allows people to place their bets somewhere. “I know a guy who’ll take your action”.

3)      Don’t keep extensive records and files on your business activities. Whenever possible put information into a code that only you understand. With modern technology paper tickets and bookie ledgers are fast disappearing however you have to cover your cyber trail as well. Use an external hard drive that can be disconnected from your computer and stored securely.

4)      Ultimately your best bet to avoiding legal entanglements is to use an offshore pay per head service which limits your exposure in your local area (see below).

Use an Offshore Pay Per Head Service

Over the past few decades the sports betting industry in countries like Costa Rica has grown exponentially and now books over a Bee-billion in sports bets alone every year. Companies like Host PPH (That’s us 😉 )have found a niche in the price per head market which offers outsourced bookmaking services to bookies around the world.

We highly recommend that every bookie take a look at the many Pay Per Head services that are available today. They offer a full range of customizable betting options much like you would find in a Las Vegas Casino. They will allow your players to wager over the phone or online using virtually any internet compatible device. Host PPH have been in business for over 10 years, we provide excellent bookie support services and reporting systems that will let you keep track of all your financial and wagering transactions.

Whether you’ve been in the bookmaking business for years or are just starting out a professional offshore bookie service will help you take your business to the next level.

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3 Responses to “Must Read Guide to Becoming a Bookie”

  1. Noobie-J says:

    New dude here. thanks for the tips

  2. Rocky says:

    Thanks for your tips…..I am very serious about this and people around me always want to place wagers but have no connection, any advice?

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