You are currently viewing Bookmaker Advice: How to Start a Sportsbook

Bookmaker Advice: How to Start a Sportsbook

Wondering how to start a sportsbook? I’m assuming that you also want to know how to become a bookie, so I’m starting from the beginning here. Before you decide to become a sport bookmaker, make sure you have all three of these main requirements. 

Bookie Requirements

  1. A Love of Sports. You must love sports, especially the NFL, because that’s where most of your money will come from. You’re the type that follows all the games and knows all the stats each week. You know the major players and talk about sports at the drop of a hat with anyone. 
  2. You Don’t Mind Taking Risks. It’s part of the game for you. More than likely, you like betting on sports, and it doesn’t weigh you down or keep you up at night. Risk is just fun for you. It’s a way to add excitement to your life, not stress you out. 
  3. Good with Numbers. If you’re an accountant in your day job, you’ve got it made. You must be good with numbers. There’s a lot of number crunching, dealing with odds, moving lines, taking payments, and making payments. You have to be okay with juggling all the numbers and managing the accounts. Otherwise, you could go broke fast. 

If you have those three, you can become a betting agent and start a sportsbook.

person calculating money - How to Start a Sportsbook

How To Start A Sportsbook

What are my First Steps?

If you haven’t placed many sports bets, I would get familiar with that side of the business immediately. Place all kinds of bets to get comfortable and understand them. Work with a bookie and learn how his end of the business works. 

Once you’re ready, recruit a few friends to be your first customers. If you already know the sports and bets they like, look up the lines and send them to your friends regularly. 

Go Old-School to Start Your Sportsbook

Take their bets and create a spreadsheet to keep track of them. Start your sportsbook with a computer, a spreadsheet, and your phone. Just take simple bets at first, and don’t forget to add your bookmaker fees. It’s called several names like juice, vig, or vigorish, and it’s usually around 10% of the winnings. 

There’s lots of information online to help you calculate the odds and the winnings, so study those before you start.

Your spreadsheet should include all relevant information like your player’s name, his bet and betting amount, the odds, the results, and how much he has on account with you or how much he owes you.

This is a live spreadsheet that changes daily as each new game comes up. 

If you work through all the bookie business stuff manually first, you’ll get a good understanding of how the business works so you’ll know how start a sportsbook well. And it’s best to make most of your mistakes now when the amount of money is still relatively small. 

List all the games that are coming up, what the lines are, and maybe where they can watch the games, then send them regularly to your players. The more information you can offer them, the happier they’ll be to work with you.

Once you get your first bet, work out a payment system with them. 

BossActionCheck Out Available Software Packages

Keep at this until you’ve worked out the bugs and are comfortable running your book on a spreadsheet (or you’re sick of doing all the work manually). Research a few pay per head sportsbook software companies that will give you a free trial to use their services. Most will give you at least four weeks. You’ll want to know:

  • How many sports leagues do they offer?
  • What types of bets can your players make? 
  • Do they have updated game schedules and injury reports? 
  • What payment methods do they allow? 
  • What features are unique to them?

After the free trial, they’ll want you to pay a certain amount per head, per week. You may lose some money initially, so make sure and have some cash to handle the initial ups and downs.

The bookie software will save you a lot of time and handle all the calculations, so you don’t have to worry about math mistakes. The good ones will give your players a smooth, enjoyable experience and help you manage the sportsbook. 

Your software should allow you to change the lines whenever you want and limit players from betting too much and increasing your risks. It will enable you to focus on bringing in more players and more bets, monitoring the current and past bets, so you know how successful your book is on an ongoing basis.

When it’s time to jump to the big leagues, BossAction will be ready with the best pay per head software in the business. We have all the features you and your players will need to have a fantastic sportsbook, including your own website and our proprietary payment system that is convenient, safe, and secure.

Transfer over to us now and get 100% of your cashback for up to 3 months, depending on how many players you have.

Call us at 1-800-339-4108 to grow your bookie business today.

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