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How Does Pay Per Head Work

How Does Pay Per Head Work

Bookies ditched pen, paper, and rotary phones a long time ago. Some still use excel sheets to run their online sportsbooks, though. Check out how the pay per head industry can help you move into the 21st century in our how does pay per head work guide. By doing so, you not only save time and energy, but you can also make more money.

Sportsbooks used to be the Vegas casino’s ugly stepchild. If you ever visited a Sin City sportsbook in the 1980s or 1990s, you know what we mean. 

Back then, sports bettors were nothing like slot machines or casino table players. Per legend, betting on sports and horses started back in 1795 when a man with a single name, Ogden, offered to book bets on equine races at Newmarket in England.

Ogden began a profession that spilled into every corner of the world. We call people who provide betting services bookies because they “book” bets. 

In the past, sports bettors called up bookies and asked to place money on such and such team to cover a specific point spread.  For example, if you were of age in 1967 and you bought into the hype surrounding the first Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers, you’d ask your friend if he knew of a bookie. Then, you’d call your friend’s bookie and say something like, “I  want to put $20 onto Bart Starr and the Packers to cover against the Chiefs.” 

From the first bet Ogden booked in 1795 to Super Bowl I in 1967 to about 1996, the process didn’t change. Players who wanted to bet on sports called their local bookie and asked to put money on a game. 

Because the process didn’t change, Vegas sportsbooks became places for professional sports bettors to watch the games on which they had action. 

Players who bet on sports didn’t head to Vegas casinos to make bets. They headed there to watch all the games on which they made bets at the same time.

Ogden’s over two-hundred-year-old local bookie model and the Vegas model changed in 1997. That year, the first company to offer bookie software, PayPerHead, came into existence. 

Since 1997, PayPerHead has strived to provide the best possible software for both existing bookies and entrepreneurial-minded people looking to become bookmakers. As the sportsbook industry has changed, we’ve stayed up to date with the changes.

But some may not understand the pay per head model. If you’re one of those bookmakers who doesn’t or are just curious about running a sportsbook, keep reading. 

How Does Pay Per Head Work: First Two Questions to Ask

Question #1: What is a bookie?

If you already run a sportsbook, you know what a bookie is. But many people don’t. 

A bookie is like a restaurant owner who also doubles as a waiter. Players, the bookmaker’s clients, call or email the bookie. 

The bookie places the bet for the player. After the event, the bookie collects money from the player if the bet lost or pays the player if the bet won.

It helps to think of bookies like restaurant owners and waiters because, like a restaurant, a good sportsbook offers various menu options. Bookmakers who use our software can provide more than eighty sports leagues, including all esports, the most famous horse racing tracks in the U.S., and casino games.    

Question #2: How do bookies make money?

When looking at how bookies make money, a lot of it depends on the bet. The reason most American bookies love against the spread wagers is that they can charge a fee. 

But against the spread bets aren’t the only ones that pay. See below for a list of specific bets and how bookies make money from each.

  • Against the spread (ATS) – Bookies charge juice or vig. Juice and vig are terms for a fee, often 10%, the bookie charges players to accept the bet.
  • Moneyline – Bookmakers don’t charge a fee. If the player’s bet wins, the bookie must pay the player. If the player’s bet loses, the bookie keeps money wagered.
  • Handicap – Handicaps work like ATS options. Soccer betting uses the term handicap while American football and basketball use the word spread.
  • Casino bets – Bookies don’t charge a fee on casino wagers.
  • Horse racing betting – No fees associated with horse racing bets.

Based on what’s above, being a bookie seems like a recipe for disaster. Ah, but here’s the thing, moneyline, casino, and horse racing bets are difficult to hit. 

The best horseplayers in the world win, maybe, 25% of their bets. Betting moneylines requires more risk than making spread wagers.

Anybody with experience playing slot machines, or blackjack, or craps, knows how difficult it is to grind out a profit. If sportsbook operators can manage betting limits and payout limits, they can control how much they lose on non-ATS wagers.

What is pay per head, how does it work?

Per head companies provide free betting software that bookmakers can offer their clients. Providing software in the cloud that allows players to access and make wagers is the most crucial aspect of a successful bookie, and really the fundamental principle in understanding how does pay per head work.

If bookies didn’t provide a way for sports bettors to make wagers online, there’s no reason for those players to sign up with a per head agent. Providing an internet-based, safe-place for players to bet on the ponies, their favorite 3D casino game, or a sporting event is why so many sports enthusiasts run PPH sportsbooks.

Bookies pay a small fee for each customer each week, hence the name “pay per head.” Most PPH organizations don’t charge the fee unless the player wagers. 

The model allows bookies to create self-service sportsbooks. They create player accounts. Players log onto their accounts. Players choose what they wish to bet. 

Some players even call bookie agents looking to break into the sportsbook business. Agents who take on sub-agents become master agents.

Master agents make the most money in the industry. They allow subs to use their already branded bookie website skin and an existing bookmaking operation.

Pay per head is an excellent way for people to start and run an online sportsbook. The startup costs are minimal, and agents mustn’t worry about the back-end software.

But not all pay per head software is the same. Some software doesn’t come close to helping you compete with your peers, much less post-ups and gambling businesses in the U.S. 

Turn your back on basic bookmaking software

The problem with most PPH software is the issue that arises with most software. All software, eventually, requires an upgrade.

The oldest software in the sportsbook industry is called DGS. For what it’s worth, when it first came out, DGS was great. 

It provided everything a bookie required to run a successful sportsbook. But as the years continued, DGS software turned into legacy software.

It no longer does everything sportsbook operators require. Legacy software in every industry ends up non-efficient.

Many bookies on legacy software must still make payments and collect in-person. It’s more challenging to add upgraded, prime platforms on legacy software. 

Forget about bookie site customization. There’s no way legacy software can offer customized websites.

Legacy software also makes oddsmaking difficult and player management less efficient than it could be. For those reasons, bookies should look to sign-up with a pay per head company with proprietary software that they can customize.

PayPerHead customized software advantages

We use our proprietary software. also has a team of developers always creating new add-ons and updating our software. As you might expect, all our software is mobile-friendly.

As things change in the sportsbook industry, we change along with it.

Agent Payment Solution

The APS allows agents to make online payments and collections. Players can deposit directly into their accounts just like agents. 

Players must never miss a bet while agents must never meet players in-person. Payments and collections happen almost instantaneously. Also, agents can use various banking methods.

How Do Pay Per Head Digital Platforms Work?

  • Sportsbook – We provide betting options on more than eighty leagues, including rugby, cricket, soccer, as well as the U.S.’s big four, NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. You can even provide options on lesser-known sports like darts and bowling. 
  • Casino – Our standard casino has over twenty slot machine and table games. 
  • Live dealer – We provide a live dealer digital platform with blackjack, baccarat, and roulette tables. 
  • In-game betting platform – Live betting has become popular. You can offer live betting options via our in-game betting platform.
  • Racebook – Agents can provide horse betting options on all A-tracks, including Santa Anita, Gulfstream, Belmont, and Churchill Downs. Offer horse racing for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and all Breeders’ Cup races. 

Prime Platforms

Adding prime platforms allows you to make even more money. Most of our agents have witnessed at least a 15% rise in action after adding a single premium platform.

  • Premium Live Dealer – More blackjack tables, which means players must never call complaining about no open seats. Also, with two platforms, bookies can prevent players from getting too cozy with a specific dealer.    
  • Premium Casino – The latest 3D games are available on the Premium Casino. There are also updated table games. The PayPerHead Premium-Casino is the same that post-ups provide their casino bettors.
  • Premium Live+ – Your standard in-game platform is good. You can create stickiness, though, with Premium Live+. Players can access video streams and game tracker. Add Premium Live+, and players have no reason to leave your sportsbook.
  • Premium Props – With Premium Props, you can offer all betting options on a game, including how many points a basketball player scores, football props, or how many strikeouts a pitcher gets. You can also offer quarter and halftime lines. 

Reseller Package

We designed a tool to help master agents keep track of their subs. With the Reseller Package, you can manage all your sub-agents from a single screen. Don’t waste time contacting every sub-agent. If you’re a master agent, the Reseller Package is close to a requirement. 

Gambling Site Customization

We can help you build your bookie brand by customizing your gambling site. All you must do is call someone on our team and ask. 

Sign-up with PayPerHead and boost profit

So now you hopefully understand how the pay per head business works. Unlike some other pay per head companies, we know the more money we can help you make, the more money we make.

By providing top software, a team of industry professionals at your disposal, and a willingness to change when required, we can help you create, develop,  and make a long-lasting profitable sportsbook. If you wish to create a customized website, we can even help you do that. 

Import your players and see how much more money you can make. We’re always running multiple promotions. Once you sign-up with us, you can start earning extra cash via the industry’s top referral program.  

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