Opening an independent sportsbook is easier than ever, provided you know what you’re doing and have the right software to back you up.
You’ve been betting for a while, but wouldn’t you love to be an independent sportsbook owner? Imagine the cash-flow that could change your life completely. The online gambling industry is a very strong growth market at the moment in the United States. Legalized sports betting is still grassroots and we’re here to give you the best chance at cashing in on a fairly new trend.
If you have a passion for sports betting, casino betting and are business-minded then running a Pay Per Head sportsbook is the move for you. Whether it is your ‘side hustle’ or if you own a client base which allows you to be a full-time operator, signing up as a PPH agent is a crucial first step.
For those who are serious about kicking off a new money-making venture, you have come to the right place. We’re going to go over a few tips to go from soup to nuts and launch your online Pay Per Head sportsbook in no time at all.
Initial planning checklist for your independent online sportsbook
No matter what type of business you are looking to open, a fair amount of planning is required, no “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts” about it. A lack of planning can be attributed to the failure of most businesses which fold before even getting off the ground, so let’s take a quick look at what you need to do first to ensure you don’t stumble out of the gate. Here are a few things to consider before embarking on this venture.
Why do you want to become a bookie?
There are no silver bullets in this industry; if your only answer to this is to become rich quick, then we recommend other ventures. If, however, you are interested in starting a book in order to make some extra scratch on the side or get away from the 9 to 5 grind and seek financial freedom, this might be the right place for you. You should also have a genuine passion for sports and sports betting, with a solid background in the industry, as well. This does not mean you have to be a big-time gambler yourself; I once knew a vegetarian butcher who always had the right answer to my questions. So critically, all you need is to understand your product and how to sell it to the public.
How Much Capital do you Have?
The budget is probably the number one step to make sure a new bookie is ready to launch his book. This can be said for any business, but even more so with sports betting as liquidity is imperative for those bad days, or weeks, which any business would encounter. If you don’t have enough coming in, you will be in danger of bursting at any time. Considering you are coming in with players, you need to look at your bankroll and set betting limits as you see fit. You can set limits on players, games and even sports with our PPH software to help you out. Considering the worst-case scenario is a good step to determining said limits. Ask yourself, “How long can I maintain my business if I am consistently paying my players more than I am collecting?” If the answer to this question is just a matter of a few weeks, you might need to reconsider if right now is the best time to launch. Consider saving up a bit more to best set you up for success. This is due largely in part to online sportsbooks commonly not seeing immediate profits, much like other ventures, it takes time to get the ball rolling, so to speak. Try your best to get yourself to a point where you can bring in less than you payout for a period of a few months before opening a shop. Find an investor if you need to; when executed properly an online sportsbook can be very profitable and even tempt new investors to your business. The rule of thumb is generally to have cash reserves equal to 3 times the total max win of your player. For example, if you have set a maximin weekly payout at $1000, and you have a total of ten players, you should have right around $30,000 in your bankroll. This ensures you can essentially lose for the better part of a month straight and still have a shot at pulling out of your tailspin.
How much time can you Commit to your Sportsbook?
Another valuable thing you’ll need when opening a new book is time. Much like money, lack of time is a great way to torpedo the launch of a new sportsbook. Do you have a full-time job already or will this be your main income source? Married, partnered or with kids? All of these things also take up a fair amount of time, or so I’m told. Much like budgeting your bankroll, you also must budget your time across the other responsibilities you have in life. Being away from your available time is a fundamental need of the small business owner. You will need time to build your player base and player profiles. You need time to payout, collect, vet new players, set limits for current ones and stack cheddar, all things take time. If you really want to take your business to another level you also need to consider customizing a website, marketing yourself and setting your own lines as you see fit. Being a hardcore bookmaker can easily be a full-time job.
Now that we’ve checked those boxes off you are ready to launch right? Well, not so fast. If you are coming in with a base of clients then yes, you can skip this portion and move forward. But many of you might be launching with a single client or two… or maybe no players at all. It’s not hard to imagine the difficulty of running a business with no customers. Still, there are plenty of ways to get your package of players up and betting.
Getting new Players to your Sportsbook
A critical first step is to make sure you have at least a few players signed to your book before getting going. First off, look to the people you already know. If you are even reading this, chances are you are a serious sports bettor, and chances are you have friends who share your passion for gambling. Think about all those conversations you’ve had with buddies about how much they hate their sportsbook and would love to find an alternative solution. Well, you can be that solution; friends helping friends. I believe most sports bettors know at least a few guys like this so just reach out to them; it’s really that simple. We’ve found people are far more likely to feel comfortable betting with people they already know and trust. Then, you can double down and leverage those friends to reach out to their friends and try to get them to join. Offer a referral program much like the big books do, this can be a great way to get some last-minute sign-ups before the NFL season kicks off. Lastly, and perhaps most powerful, is the utilization of social media channels. YouTube and Twitter specifically have a very strong community of sports bettors and they all (seemingly) hate their current offshore sportsbooks too. Start posting good quality content that serves to inform or entertain, and you will see business starting to trickle in more and more.
Getting Prepped for Launch
Now that we’ve got the bankroll and roster all set you are ready to get your sportsbook up and running. Here are some tips to ensure your success starting from day one at your brand spanking new online sportsbook.
Get to know your Pay Per Head software and its features:
Multiple tutorials and articles can be found on our blog which really breaks down all that PPH’s software has to offer, best check them out before you go live. We offer the abilities to offer certain events specifically, set limits, set lines, live bet, bet at our casino and so much more. It is imperative you fully understand the software you are not only pitching to others but will be required to work with yourself.
Create your website and social media pages:
Doing to best to show the public you are a legit and well-run business is paramount to long term success. Whether you are looking to retain a current client or lure a new one in, legitimacy must be established. These day’s humans are more and more visual people and you can make that work for you. Create a logo, some banners and a ‘voice’ for your brand. Take time to think of ways to snazz up your website, maybe film some videos to promote or write some short blogs for your visitors.
Don’t skimp on customer experience:
A theme throughout this article is to look at your independent sportsbook much like any other small business which you would be looking to start. Sometimes as a sportsbook owner, we can forget how profitable it can be to give our customers the best possible wagering experience. Research shows that not only shows that American consumers give repeat business to companies they enjoy, they are also more likely to share their experience with others.
Don’t worry if all this seems a bit overwhelming, in many ways it can be to a new agent – but fear not, you aren’t alone. The jump-off of launching a new online sportsbook can be stressful and full of long evenings poring over data, contacts and bank accounts. Lucky for you, here at Pay Per Head we strive to make this experience as easy and fluid for you as possible. We offer 24/7 customer service which not only serves to assist with technical issues but can also help new agents solve some of the more common issues which arise when starting out. Contact our live chat support at PayPerHead.com or give us a call at 1-800-605-4767.