Top tips on how to start a bookie business


A bookie is a shortened form for a bookmaker. A bookie is an individual who on behalf of a player or a client places a bet on sporting events (including virtual games). A bookie sets a game’s odd usually in his favour by calculating the odds needed to win an event using line and spreads which can be adjusted as a result of unexpected events which may impact the odds.

Unexpected events that may impact the positive returns of the odds include weather, player injuries, doping scandals and fluctuations in big casino bets.  The goal of a bookie is to ensure the books are balanced by adjusting the odds as much as possible so that there’s an even amount of people betting on a win or loss.

When a bookie places a bet on behalf of a client, if the bet returns with profit, the bookie pays out the client but if it turns out to be loss, the booking then owes the player with interest.

In order to start a bookie business, you need clients, a website, and an office space. The following top tips would guide you in setting up a successful bookie business:

It is important to first ensure there aren’t strict laws against a bookie business in your state. Since 2018, in the US, individual states have specific laws regulating the bookie business and it may be useful to first ascertain the details of what the law permits in the state you are about to begin your business. But the laws should not be too strict as there is an increase in the number of sports betting fans.

A conspicuous office space

After ascertaining the laws, you need a conspicuous location in front of the street. Usually, it is advisable that the office space should be the first floor of a building. The office space should be a room with a maximum area of 20 sq. M and a minimum of 10 sq. M. It should be able to accommodate at least one workplace with a table and a computer for a cashier. Most importantly, avoid residential locations.

Office equipment for a bookie business

You will need the following office equipment:

·   A Thermal Printer (print width 80mm) such as STAR TSP 100, Posiflex (6800, 7000) or Epson (TM 88)

·   Barcode scanner (should support code 93 and 128 in default) such as Honeywell ML2107, Symbol LS2208, Metrologic MS9520

· A computer with the following minimum requirement:

o   display 17” TFT Screen

o   Ram:4GB

o   CPU: 2.2 GHZ Dual core

o   Video Card should have a lot of VGA/DVI/HGMI

·   A notice board

In your office space, you need a notice board which displays a quotation for various sports (including virtual events) with each of them carrying different outcome options. 

A bookie website and software

It is not just enough to have a bookie’s website but it is also important to be able to manage the lines and the spread as knowing how to regulate the odds is an indispensable asset to running a successful bookie business. 

If you are not a professional in setting the lines and spread needed to shift the odds in your favor, you may get the services of a line and spread company to help with setting it up. Examples of  useful softwares in setting up your line and spread include: betconstruct, unionbet, Rub90, Golden- Race, Unibet, among others.

Taking the wagers placed by players

A bookie makes profit not just from players’ losses but also from the transaction fees payed by the player while placing bets. The transaction fees become the bookie’s profit when the player loses the game.

Managing Crises

Knowing fully well that capital for starting a bookie business are mostly personal savings or private loans, it is always advisable to set aside about 15 to 20% of your weekly profit for disastrous weeks when the odds are not in your favor.

Associate with other bookies

Two heads are often better than one.  In case of unresolvable disputes with clients, you can take the matter to a fellow bookie. When you are in a community of bookies, they would always have your back and no client would be able to harass you.