How Much Money do I need to Be a Bookie

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 03:43 pm

How Much Money do I need to Be a Bookie

Entering the world of online sports betting is one of the most rewarding and challenging career decisions someone can make. As one of the fastest growing industries in the world, being a bookie allows you to be your own boss, set your own hours and earn revenue with amazing potential. For those wanting to follow that path, one of the most important questions they ask is, How Much Money do I need to Be a bookie?

While the question is simple, it is one of the toughest questions to answer accurately. This is because of the many variables involved in operating an online sportsbook.

However, what we do know is that the cost relates directly to how you run the gambling operation. Therefore, we just need to create a few parameters to estimate how much capital is necessary to open a sportsbook.

How Much Money do I need to Be a Bookie – Bookie Operating Fixed Costs

Bookie Operating Fixed Costs

According to financial planning companies, start-ups need enough capital to pay for 6 months of fixed costs.

To simplify the answer, we will assume you are using the Sportsbook pay Per head Solution.

As such, we will not include the cost of logistics like employees, maintenance cost, sportsbook software and infrastructure. This is because for $5 or less per player, all of this is included in the package. This will be your fixed cost.

However, if you do not use a Bookie Pay Per Head Service, then you will need to do some research. Your location will greatly affect the month costs but expect to pay $10,000 and up for your fixed costs.

Videos to Help You Become a Bookie

The Payout Factor

Payouts are arguably the most important factor when it comes to starting a bookie operation. This is because if you do not have enough money to pay your players, you will be out of business fast. Therefore, here is how to estimate the money you will need to set aside for payouts.

Estimating the Money Necessary for Payouts

To estimate how much capital, you will need for payouts, you multiple the monthly estimated sports betting handle by the estimated Bookie Loss percentage.

Emergency Payout Fund = Estimated Sports Betting Handle x Estimated Bookie Loss Percentage

While the formula is simple enough, finding the variables is somewhat difficult since they are variables based on educated guesses.

Estimating the Money Necessary for Payouts

Figuring out the Bookie Loss Percentage

To get a conservative estimate, we want to figure out a realistic, worst-case scenario.  Since we know that bookies are constantly adjusting the odds to equalize the betting, it is unlikely for a sportsbook to have a player win ratio higher than 70%.

With this in mind, we are setting the worst-case scenario at a 30% loss for the first month.

Estimating the Sports Betting Handle

Estimating the Sports Betting Handle

The next step is to estimate a monthly sports betting handle which is the amount of money wagered by bettors.

To do that, we will use an example based on a set real-world variable. These monthly variables are:

  • The Number of Players: 100
  • Max bet: $100
  • Monthly Number of Bets per Player: 20

Using data from sports betting statistics and assuming they are recreational players, we can estimate about 20 bets per month per player during the football season.

Using this data, the formula to estimate the sports betting handle is:

Sports Betting Handle = Number of Players x (Max Bet x Monthly number of bets per player)

In this example, we end up with a Sports betting handle of $200,000


How Much Money Do You Need to Be a Bookie with a Pay Per Head

How Much Money do You need to Be a Bookie with a Pay Per Head Service

Now that we have all of the data necessary, we simply multiply the betting handle of $200,000 by the 30% in losses to figure out the money needed for payouts.

$200,000 (sports betting handle) x 30% (loss Percentage) = $60,000

In this scenario, we end up needing $60,000 for the payouts.

Of course, this is just a worst-case scenario and you can adjust the numbers to fit how you will run your bookie business. “

For example, most bookies will start with about 10-25 players which will change the numbers drastically. Therefore, if you start a bookie business with 10 players and a max bet of $75, you would only need $4,500 for payouts.


Add a few hundred dollars per month to pay the bookie pay per head fee per player and you know how much money you need to be a bookie!

Why Use the Bookie Pay Per Head Services

When you use the Bookie PPH Service, you only need a minimal amount of money to start a sportsbook. This is because your success is our success which is why we only charge $5 or less per active player. Simply said, with our PPH services, bookies can significantly lower the cost of running a gambling operation. The best part is that it is done without sacrificing the quality of the bookie software or service!


  • Easy to use player management system
  • Set player limits and access
  • Create and Edit your players
  • Easily enable and disable player gambling options
  • Daily, Weekly and Monthly Player figures
  • Intuitive and reliable reports
  • And much more


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