If you are new to this online gambling world, before doing anything, you need to understand how to become a bookie and successfully start your own sportsbook business.
But how can you become a bookie? Here, we want to explain everything you need to know about starting your own bookmaker business and becoming a bookie that can compete with the best!
A sportsbook works by taking a bet from the punter and also a small amount of commission from the winnings. The sportsbook works on lines, with the odds working in a way that means a guaranteed sum of money for the bookmaker.
So, if this is something that interests you, then continue reading this article to find out exactly how you start your sports betting business and turn it into a successful endeavour, by using our top end sports betting and live betting software here at PayPerHead.
What Is a Bookmaker?
When someone refers to a bookmaker, they are normally referring to an online establishment that accepts bets and pays out on sporting events at pre-set odds. The bookie needs to make sure that they adjust the odds accordingly in order to keep the books and betting balanced.
This is to ensure that there is roughly the same amount of bets on each side of the outcome. If they fail to do this, they can end up having some big expenses that aren’t easy to cover.
How to Become a Bookie
If you are considering making the most of our sports betting software at PayPerHead then here are some things you will need to consider.
Ultimately, there are two hugely important things you need to focus on – legitimacy and money. Firstly, you will need to make sure that you have a cash reserve. You also need to make sure that you follow all the correct procedures to ensure that your betting site is completely legitimate.
One of the biggest questions people ask is how much money you actually need to get started. Ultimately, cash flow is the life blood of whatever business you are looking to start, including making a bookie business. This will cover all of your expenses – such as software, utilities and payouts.
Your main responsibility as a bookmaker is to pay out winning bets. If you are lucky and the punter loses the bet, then you are quids in. You will then be able to use this money from the losing wagers to pay out winning wagers, but you may have to dig into some cash reserves, especially when you are starting out.
You need to accept that as you start up your business, you may come across some extra expenses, such as the software you need to invest in, as well as any licenses you may need to acquire to legitimately operate.
It is often the case that how well you can perform in the market depends very much on how much you can afford to invest in the business. The more you can afford to put in, the better your position will be.
Obviously, the more casual players bet a lot less than professional gamblers. So how much you need to invest also very much depends on the size and quality of your clientele and what audience you are looking to appeal to. A standard bookie startup fund might range between $5,000 and $10,000. If you are looking to start up a service for professional bettors, you will need a minimum of $10,000 reserve to cover your risks.
Starting an Online Sportsbook – The Legalities
You need to remember that every country and every state has its own laws and regulations regarding sports betting sites and casinos. In some states, it is perfectly legal to open a sports betting site and accept wagers, whilst in other states, it is completely prohibited.
As such, we would always recommend that you do your own research into the legalities of betting where you are located. Look at your state’s government website and check out their online betting regulations. You may also want to contact a professional in the industry to see where you stand in terms of opening up an online betting service where you live.
How to Start Your Sports Betting Bookie Business
So, now that we’ve looked at the basics of what you need to consider, let’s look at everything you need to know in order to run your sportsbook business. Read through the following guide to see how you can successfully set up your new business.
Set Your Lines
One of the most important things you need to think about is setting your lines – which is absolutely crucial. There are generally two ways people go about this:
- Setting the lines yourself (which requires knowledge and understanding)
- Copying lines set by another bookmaker
Generally, setting the lines yourself isn’t the best idea if you don’t have a lot of experience in the industry. As a new bookmaker, your best option is to seek the help of a professional or use guidance from a different online bookie.
It takes just a few clicks of the mouse and you can have access to lots of bookmaker sites and compare them – to see the best option for your sportsbook. When you are done with setting your lines, you need to make sure that you keep track of them. If there is too much money going on one side of the bet, you will need to adapt the lines and push your punters onto the other side of the wager.
Setting Your Vig
If you are learning how to run your sportsbook, you need to figure out the vig, which is a vital part of the setup you need to consider. The amount you charge a vig all depends on what sport it is. Generally, a 100% to 110% ratio is average. By setting a higher vig, then it usually means you can get a quicker profit, and it also protects your businesses from losses to some extent. However, set the vig too high and you may put off the punters who are looking for a site that offers better value. It’s walking the line.
Keep Track Of Everything that Happens
After you have started your own betting site, it is vital that you keep up-to-date and detailed records of news and legalities. You should always make sure that your computer system facilitates this news and info. Here at PayPerHead, we offer you access to systems to help you out in all ways and one that works the best for you.
If you want to have an even better overview, then you should think about backing up the data on a second computer, on the cloud or even on an external disc. This makes it easier to track your profit and losses while keeping your data safe from corruption and losses.
If you do want extra protection on your computer, then you might want to use one that isn’t connected to the internet. This then keeps your data away from hackers or any other possible cybercriminals.
Decide Whether or Not You Will Offer Credit
As a bookmaker, you have the possibility of issuing credit to your punters. However, this isn’t to be advised as it could potentially lead to big losses. Here is what you need to factor in when you decide whether or not you want to offer your customers credit:
- A background check – does that person have a good history of paying back their debts?
- Can the person in question afford to pay back these debts?
- Do you have any reason to suspect that this person might commit fraud? Do they have a clean history?
- If you don’t offer them credit, what would be the outcome of this? Are there other strategies?
Employ a Layoff Account To Ensure a Profit
The term ‘layoff account’ simply means an account that has been created to balance out an action on either side of the match or game. Here, with our online sports betting software at PayPerHead, contact us to find out how we can help and request details to find out more about it.
There might be a time when you find yourself in a very unbalanced situation, where losing a bet might have a huge impact on your cash flow. In this situation, you may then want to use a similar amount to offset those losses.
By using a layoff account, it will help you to learn how to run a sports betting site effectively as you will be able to earn profits without taking such huge risks. In addition, making sure you keep a balanced book is useful if you ever hit a rough patch as you will be saving on cash.
Remember a layoff account is totally a business tool and shouldn’t be used as an individual in-house account.
Invest in Your Sports Betting Platform
The biggest part of your success all depends on your sports betting software developers. Here we want to make sure that you have invested your money in sports betting software that satisfies both yours and your customers’ every single need. Here are the most important aspects of your sports betting software that we can help you with:
- Access to a large number of sporting tournaments, leagues and events.
- A variety of different payment methods and gateways.
- A helpful support platform.
- Highest level of security and safety.
- Excellent customer support.
- Easy to use interface on desktop and mobile.
As well as this, we also make sure that we meet all of your business needs, including:
- Risk management tools
- Live betting software for bookie websites
- An administrative panel offering lots of different features
- The ability to manage bet limits quickly and easily.
- Reporting tools.
Offering a User Friendly Website for Your Business
As with all good sports betting software providers, we want our bookie agents to be able to offer customer service. The customer will only keep coming back to you if you offer a website that is easy to use, looks good and has all of the features that they are looking for. Here are some of the features that the customer will be looking for in your website:
- An easy to use login/registration panel
- Plenty of options to choose a bet
- Information about the teams and players
- A comprehensive calendar of betting events
- Different types of bets and sports betting options
- Plenty of decent payment options,
- The possibility to access in different languages
- Match summaries.
The administration menu should also include features such as:
- A login panel
- User management
- A panel that has match, team, bets and player info
- A research management panel
Attract Those Customers
In this day and age, most betting site advertising is done online, often through social media channels. If you want to run a profitable sportsbook, then you will need to consider following any – or even all of these social media marketing strategies.
Firstly, you could do an exchange advertisement. This is basically where you offer to advertise someone else’s site and they advertise yours in return. There is no cost with this strategy as both participants benefit. However, both sides will need to already have an established audience for this strategy to be successful.
Another strategy is to pay for a social media marketing strategist to look after your marketing. This is easier and is a lot less hassle, but it does come at a price.
Thirdly, you can choose to advertise yourself using online marketing and SEO techniques. This might involve optimizing your betting website with keywords that are relevant to your sports betting business. This is free if you know what you are doing, but it can be time consuming and needs your constant attention.
Keep Your Business Secure With a High Risk Merchant Account
A high risk online bookie business needs a high-risk merchant account in order to be able to take payments. A high-risk merchant account is one that allows your business to process customers’ payments. By choosing to operate a business that is high risk, you will limit your choice of processors and it might also come with higher fees than lower risk businesses. As such, it isn’t always easy to find the best processor, so you may need to do a bit of shopping around. You also need to ensure access to top end accounting software, to keep on top of the accounts
Finding a good high risk merchant account is vital for most sportsbook businesses as it mitigates risks and allows you to run your sportsbook online business effectively.
Final Thoughts – Starting a New Sportsbook
So, if you were wondering how to make a bookie website and be successful in the sports betting industry, then hopefully this will point you in the right direction. We hope this guide has helped you to start processing the idea of starting your online sports betting business and has addressed all that you need to consider before getting started with your own sportsbook business as well as how to successfully manage it once it has started.
Good luck! Remember, here at PayPerHead, we offer top sports betting software to help you create an online sportsbook site that works perfectly for you and your sports bettors. We offer you a complete turnkey solution. Find out more about using our gambling software and Pay Per Head services today.