With the sophistication of the software now, bookmakers can have a much bigger sportsbook than they used to have.
What is a Sportsbook?
To better understand today’s sportsbook, I thought it would be easier to describe what it evolved from. Sports betting probably started right after the first sports games were played.
Bookmakers Before Computers
There are always enterprising people that realize they can make money by offering to take bets from those sports fans that don’t have friends to bet with. They just had to be good at math, accounting, and promotion. Their tools were minimal. They just needed paper, a pen, and a way to take bets from their customers.
Because bookmaking has been around for so long, you know it makes money. Otherwise, why bother? When computers came along, those same bookies used spreadsheets to do those math calculations and accounting data entry to make their job easier.
The main job of the bookie was to make the total dollars taken in to be evenly distributed between both sides of a bet. With spreadsheets, the bookies could take bets on more than one sport or game at a time, but most could only take on simple moneyline or against the spread bets. Their tools were their phone, their bankroll, and their computer spreadsheet. If they worked alone, they would be limited in the amount of business they could do because each bet had to be called in.
What Is A Sports Bookie: Today’s Bookie Tools
Fast-forward to today with the internet changing everything for bookies. Most have transitioned to the pay per head model. This came about because of software companies that take care of much of the sportsbook business and help expand their offerings.
Instead of paying for the sportsbook software once, a bookie pays a weekly fee per head. That means that a bookie pays a set amount each week for any of their players once they place a bet. A bookie may have 100 players, but if only 30 of them bet this week, he only pays for those 30.
The Pay Per Head Advantage
This may sound expensive compared to the old model, which only costs the price of a computer and spreadsheet, but let me lay out some of the advantages:
- Bookies no longer have to manage each bet manually. They are done automatically by the software. Because of that, they can take on more bets and more complex bets such as parlays, in-game betting, and all kinds of props bets.
- They can offer many more sports leagues and games. The software companies have a small group of people who provide each game’s betting lines. The bookie no longer has to research and set those lines. They are already set up before each game. That would be a massive amount of work if the bookie still had to do that for each game in each league and each type of bet. But they can still change those lines at any time.
- Money no longer has to be exchanged by hand. Players can make deposits, and bookies can pay off winning bets on the internet. BossAction’s agent payment solution allows those payments to be made right in their own software safely, quickly, and discretely using credit cards, cryptocurrencies, and many other methods.
- Most sportsbooks now have reporting capabilities to see which players are making you the most money, where your business is struggling, and how well your business is doing overall.
- Along with sports, these pay per head bookie software companies also provide digital casinos for players who want to bet when no sports are available. High-quality casinos include 3D slots and table games, live dealers, and live poker with other poker players.
- Bettors now have a website to see the lines on all the upcoming games and futures bets. They can place their bets, make deposits, and withdraw their winnings straight from that webpage. They can even jump to the casino whenever they want.
A Bright Future for Bookmaking
Bookies are more than welcome to stick to their old model of a spreadsheet and phone to avoid paying per head, but I doubt they would hold onto many bettors for long. There are too many features and opportunities for a player to return to an old-style bookie.
Pay per head betting software has given today’s bookies and players much more to work with. It’s much easier and more convenient to run a sportsbook, and their players have all they need at their fingertips, using their computers or cell phones.
A sportsbook no longer consists of a phone and a spreadsheet to care for a handful of players. It’s now a large and growing network of tools to help a bookmaker’s business grow and run smoothly.
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