This week we got to interview one of our long time clients for our Bookie Pay Per Head services. To keep his privacy, we will call him Bob and he has been am NYC bookie for over 4 decades. Even though Bob only began to use our Pay Per Head Services 5 years ago, he is one of our most successful clients. Thus, we thought our Interview with a Pay Per Head Bookie would make for a good informative article.
In addition, the idea behind this bookie interview is to answer common questions about the real bookie industry. This is because there is a lot of myths and misconceptions about bookies that people need to be aware of.
So without further ado, here is the interview!
How did you become a bookie?
My story is actually pretty common amongst the other bookies I know. In high school, my buddies and I would often bet a few bucks against each other on a game. Later on, I somehow began covering bets from multiple people. As more people wanted to place bets with me, I began learning about setting odds so I could cover my bets and make more money from the juice.
I never thought about becoming a bookie but it after college, I had problem finding a full-time job. Thankfully, the bookie business I had from high school and college was enough to cover my living expenses. After a few months, of living like that, I made the decision to turn it into an actual job.
Is it hard to get people to bet with you?
Not really. I never thought I would make a living being a bookie, so I just took bets from friends. Later, their friends would be placing their bets from me and by the time I got my diploma I had about 100 players. Of course, it wasn’t that much money. We are mostly taking students so I would get a few hundred bucks a week during the football season.
So in my case, I never really had to work hard at finding enough players to live off of. To get more players faster, I would sometimes give rebates in exchange for customer referrals. So if a guy owes me but he brings me a few players; I would just have him pay 80% to 90% of his balance.
You got to remember that this was before the internet. And since you couldn’t really advertise your book it was a good way for me to get more customers.
Why did you start using a Bookie Pay Per Head?
Well, back in the late 90s I was at the point where I just couldn’t handle the all of my customers. Even with a couple of guys helping me, it was just too much work. I was literally working 12-16 hour days every day. On top of that, keeping track of everyone’s bets and the money was just a nightmare. So a buddy of mine in Costa Rica who works for a book told me it was time to upgrade my operation.
I ended up paying $55 a head for his book to take care of my players. All I had to do was keep my customers happy and collect money. A few years back, I heard about bookie pay per head that were a lot cheaper. After shopping around and I ended up with you guys and it was the best decision I ever made.
Now that legal sports wagering is coming to NY, are you worried about losing your business?
Nan, I have a pretty good relationship with my clients and usually see most of them in person a few times a month. Plus, I hang out with a lot of them so they have no reasons to leave me. We got a pretty good thing going so why would they want to switch?
On top of that, they bet on credit cause they don’t always have the cash to place their bets. Lots of these guys don’t have a big disposable income. So I’m pretty sure the big sportsbooks won’t take their bets on credit until they get paid.
Also, betting with me is more convenient than having to drive to a casino or a sportsbook. Even if the sports betting bill in NY passes, I’m sure I won’t lose too many bets or clients over it.
So what do you do when someone doesn’t pay?
Ha ha ha, well, I don’t go around breaking legs if that’s what you’re asking. Since most of them are friends or friends of friends it rarely happens. When it does, well I just stop taking bets from them and just eat the loss. It’s not like I take big bets.
Most of my guys usually bet $100-$300 a game and once in a while, I might take a bet for a few thousand. Anyway, it’s all about not letting guys get too behind. If you do that, even if they don’t pay, it won’t hurt too much.
In most cases, though, they’ll just tell me they can’t pay and we work together so we are all happy. So, being a bookie is not like the movies. I’m sure some bookies used to operate like that but those are rare cases.
What advice would you give someone who wants to be a bookie?
If you gave me that question 20 years ago I would have said to stay away from it. That’s because it was a lot of work back then. Now, if you want to become a bookie it’s pretty easy with a bookie pay per head. My only advice is not to get greedy and try to become big too fast. Don’t give more credit than a person can handle and treat your customers well.