First, let’s examine the difference between an agent and a bookie.
What is a bookie? It is someone who accepts bets directly from a bettor and pays them if they win. (He also sets odds, arranges payments, and moves lines so he can reduce his risks. But a lot of that is done by software now.) To learn more, check out our recent blog, what is a bookie?
The definition of an agent is not as straightforward as they work one way with a bookie and another with a sportsbook. You can search online to get precise definitions, but one thing they have in common is that an agent helps a bookie or sportsbook with their business.
For a sportsbook, an agent works like a middleman between a sportsbook and a bettor. They will accept bets from players, bring them to a sportsbook, and take a portion of the juice or vigorish as payment.
An agent, in that case, brings a few things to the table, including managing the players for the sportsbook and often giving credit.
For a bookie, an agent is someone who helps him manage the business. The bookie works directly with the players in accepting bets while the agent manages a portion of the business. An agent may manage many bookies who work well with their bettors but do not run a business well.
In both cases, the agent fills a need so players can make bets. In the former definition, an agent is working with a sportsbook. In the latter, the agent is working with a bookie.
Bookie Software Providers
Companies that provide pay per head sportsbook software to bookies often have all the necessary tools and features for both bookies and agents. This way, bookies who want to run the entire business on their own can do so.
Because of that, the terms agents and bookies are often used interchangeably.
With that out of the way, let’s discuss what a sports betting agent/bookie is. As mentioned earlier, a bookie accepts bets (and payments) from players wanting to make a wager and pays them if they win.
Nowadays, most bookies are online and use pay per head software. It helps them run their business online by providing the sports games, the bets, and the lines. They will also offer management tools to move lines, limit players’ bets, provide casino play, and run reports.
For that service, they pay a weekly fee for each active player. That’s what pay per head means. They may have 100 players, but if only 15 are active that week, the bookie only pays for the 15. Once that player places a bet, your hope as a bookie is that they will do a lot of gambling during that week to maximize your pay per head cost.
Why Work with a Bookie?
Why bother going to a bookie with all of the online sportsbooks available? With sportsbooks, you can simply join online and do your betting without ever dealing with a person.
That might be desirable when you first start betting, but after a time, when you have problems or upsets, you may quickly want to be dealing with a person who runs the business and can give you a quick resolution. We’ve all spent enough time on hold waiting for our phone or utility company to help us with a problem.
The bigger the company, the tougher it is to get the fix we want. They have policies they must follow, or you have to escalate to their supervisor. Nobody likes that. When dealing with a bookie, you’re dealing with the owner. And you deal with the same person each time.
Customer service is probably the biggest reason to switch. Bookies can also give you credit and can pay you off as quickly as you want. That isn’t generally the case with sportsbooks. They have a lot of overhead to worry about and can’t be as flexible or responsive as a single bookie.
PayPerHead Agent Software
PayPerHead.com is the top bookie software on the market. We created our software instead of working from a main brand, which is how we can provide exactly what customers need. For example, we recently introduced a reseller tool for agents managing many bookies. We call them master agents to avoid confusion.
The software calculates the per-head fees of each bookie, so they don’t have to. The Master agent sets the rates, and we do the rest. Best of all, this software is free once you are a PayPerHead agent.
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