Once you get into sports betting, and going for running your own sportsbook, a lot of questions come up. The first, of course, is how much do bookies make? Just like any business, your profit will depend on the size of your operations, as well as your management of the business.
But to be specific about bookmaking and sports betting, there are four basics: Low overhead, correct bet prices and lines, balancing your book, and strategy. Let’s go over them one by one.
How Do Bookies Make Money?
Low Overhead. Like any business, the goal is to have the lowest operating cost that gives you the efficiency needed for your target income and growth. In the industry, the best option is to become a Pay Per Head bookie. It’s basically outsourcing your operations to a software provider who will track everything in your book. It will also serve as your command center, where you configure and run your sportsbook from wherever you are. The overhead is lower, as you are only charged per head, or per player. This is opposed to funding people to develop software for you. Here’s a bookie revenue calculator you can use.
Correct Bet Prices and Lines. Your main source of profit is usually the vigorish, or the vig. This you build into the odds you will set, and is basically your commission for each wager you take. Ideally, you want the odds to be favorable for your players to bet on, while still retaining a percentage of the odds for your vig. This means, you will need to balance your book well.
Balancing Your Book. When taking bets from players, you will want an even book, which is the best way to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome of the game. To do this, you need to monitor the action on a particular wager. So if wagers are leaning towards one side, you need to adjust the odds to attract players to bet on the other side. This is done until you can get a balanced book, and get to guarantee your profit.
Strategy. Balancing your book won’t matter if you are not strategic with how you run your sportsbook. This covers two aspects: your ability to balance your book, and your ability to get the right type of players. If all your players are professionals and are sharp bettors, then you’ll have a hard time getting your action to be made equally. You will need players who are also fans, players who are emotional bettors, even recreational ones. You will need to rely on them making bad bets to get a good profit margin. But not always, or else they’ll leave you. But your ability to read your players will be crucial to your success as a bookie.