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How Do Bookies Make Money

How Do Bookies Make Money

You know about sports betting and how sports betting works. But after thinking about it, you might wonder how bookies make money? After all, there is a losing bet for almost every winning bet. How could sports betting be profitable? Keep reading to find out.

Unless you understand sports betting, it isn’t apparent how bookies make money. It’s so confusing that organizations like DraftKings and FanDuel are currently struggling.

Granted, those two organizations have tried to build company loyalty by offering free bet stakes, money players can use to make bets. But all that appears to have done is create players that expect things for free.

Real sports betting agents don’t operate that way. The actual bookmaker software agent provides services to real players, not the fly-by-night player who wishes to make a few bets on a few popular sports events. 

Because the real bookie, the pro sports betting agent, has legit players, almost all have become pay per head agents. A bookmaker becomes a per head agent to use bookie software.

Proprietary software, like what offers, has allowed any entrepreneur, even one who doesn’t like sports, to run a successful sports betting operation.

With the right software, anybody can profit from running a sportsbook. So the answer to how bookies make money is in the software. 

How Do Bookies Make MoneyThe Main Way How Bookies Make Money? Through Charging Fees

Hollywood makes accepting bets seem like a shady, strange, almost mystical business. It’s not. 

Running a sports betting site is almost like running a restaurant, except the overhead is non-existent. A menu of sports betting awaits the player.

The player bets on the option of their choice. The bookie charges a fee, sometimes called the juice or vig, which amounts to a service fee.

Sports Betting Example – Against the Spread

The following illustrates the most common sports bets and standard sports betting fees.

Against the Spread Bets 

The National Football League is the most popular sports league in the United States. The most popular wager on NFL games is to bet on a team to cover the spread. 

ATS Example – 2022 Super Bowl

  • Cincinnati Bengals +4.5
  • Los Angeles Rams -4.5

The odds are simple to understand. If a player bets on the Ram, the Rams must beat the Bengals by at least 5 points to win their bet. 

If the player bet on the Bengals, Cincinnati could lose by 4 points or less, and the player wins their bet. The bookie makes money from the juice.

Let’s say a player bets $1,000 on the Bengals. The Bengals lose by 3. The bookie pockets the 10% fee, $100 of $1,000.

The bookmaker then pays the player $1,900, the $1,000 stake, and $900 in profit. Don’t worry if the $1,900 makes you nervous. 

We provide a tool that PPH bookie agents use to cut exposure on risky bets.

Cut Bet Exposure – The Layoff Account

Once you sign up and activate a account, you can use the layoff account. The layoff account allows you to lay off all or some of a sports bet.

Doing so for against the spread wagers, you, the online bookie agent, keeps the vig and mustn’t use the vig to pay players.

The layoff account is also valuable to cut risk on moneyline bets so is an essential element of how bookies make money.

Sports Betting Example – Moneylines

Underdog moneyline bets can bankrupt your sportsbook. Odds on moneyline can be outrageous. 

The Philadelphia Eagles won the 2017 Super Bowl. Before the season started, the Eagles were a +4000 choice to win the Super Bowl.

If a bookie website agent’s player had placed $200 on the Eagles to win Super Bowl 17, the bookie was on the hook for an $8,200 payout.

The problem with moneylines is that bookmakers can’t charge juice. So there is no fee. Bookies are more exposed from moneyline bets than they are from ATS wagers. 

How bookies make money – moneyline bets

Our proprietary sportsbook software provides tools that every sports betting agent can use to cut risk on moneyline bets.

Check out the top tools to use to handle ML wagers.


All bookmakers that offer free betting software should set up alerts for the most prolific players. If you set up an alert, you will know if a player bets.

At that point, you can add to the bet deletion queue if the player wants to delete the bet or if you don’t want to accept the bet. 

You can also set up bet alerts for specific sporting events or a specific bet type. 

Automatic Bet Deletion

We’ve upgraded our bet deletion process, so all you must do is add wagers to the queue, and they automatically delete. Automatic Deletion will help you provide better customer service to your clients and help you manage out-of-control bets that you must delete. 

Limits Tool

You should limit all moneyline bets. Don’t allow players to bet more than $100 to $200 on any single moneyline wager.

Parlay Limits 

Limit parlays. You shouldn’t allow your players to put more than six teams into a parlay. Also, limit how much players can bet on parlays.  

Other platforms and the best tool to use to limit risk

The following platforms can add 15% or more action to your sportsbook. Like all platforms, though, they provide risk. 

Check out the platform’s name, what it does, and how you can limit exposure. 

Premium Props

Premium Props allows bookie websites to provide NBA, MLB, NFL, and other star player performance options. 

Quarter lines, halftime lines, and non-ordinary future bets are also available via Premium Props. The best way to cut risk on prop bets is to limit bet amounts.  

Standard Live 

Set bet limits on standard live in-game options. Never allow players to make live betting parlays. 


Live+ provides your players with game trackers and video streams. The platform is a great way to boost player loyalty because it gives them information that helps them make winning bets.

Like what you must do on standard live, set bet limits, and prevent players from adding live options to parlays. 

Standard Casino 

The standard casino offers twenty-three primary slot machine and table games. It’s mobile-capable, like your sportsbook.

Players can bet through their mobile phones. There isn’t much risk involved with casino betting because the Vegas casino edge for each game applies.

But you must set max bet limits.  

How Do Bookies Make Money

Premium Casino

Like your standard casino, your Premium Casino offers almost zero risk. But you must set max betting limits. So make sure payout limits and bet limits are sky-high.  

Live Dealer 1

Players can access your first live dealer platform and play blackjack, roulette, etc. Your live dealer platform has a built-in edge. 

Live Dealer 2

Our standard bookie package provides two live dealers. If your players have gotten cozy with a dealer on the first live dealer platform, switch them to the second live dearly platform. 


Horse race betting exposure can be massive. If you wish to open your racebook up to players, you must set payout limits and bet limits.

Your most important tool to ensure how bookies make money 

A bookmaker’s most vital tool to ensure profit is a way for players to make online deposits and a way for you to make agent payments.

We call our system the Agent Payment Solution. When players can deposit into their accounts and withdraw from those player accounts, you must never worry about getting paid. 

Become a Master Agent

Master agents offer their expertise and branded site to subagents. We offer a reseller package that can turn any agent into a master agent. 

Once you become a master agent, you leave the day-to-day up to your subs. Master agents are at the top of the bookie food chain. 

Free bookie site consultation and sign-up and get two free weeks 

Sign-up to use our proprietary software free for two weeks. So sign up as soon as possible. Agents who have switched to PayPerHead have seen a 23% rise in action regardless of their sportsbook’s size.

We want you to sign up with PayPerHead and never think about using someone else’s software, which is we provide a free bookie site consultation. 

Our experts will show you how to use our tools to make the most money you ever had running your sportsbook. Not someone else’s. 

Your sportsbook. Call 1-800-605-4767 and get started today.  

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