How a Bookie Operation Works?

There has been a lot of hype in the last few years about online sportsbooks being the ideal business for people looking to become self-employed. While sports betting may be a great fit for many it is not everyone.

Sports betting isn’t new. After all, it’s been happening legally in Nevada since 1931 and illegally everywhere for probably much longer than that. However, aside from Nevada and later Delaware, Montana, and Oregon, sports betting was illegal across the rest of the US. 

This all changed in 2018 when, in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Associationthe Supreme Court struck down the ban on sports betting, opening the door for any state to allow it.

However, this doesn’t mean that just anyone can own a sportsbook. If you’re wondering “is owning a sportsbook illegal?”, the answer is somewhat complicated. If you want to learn more about running a sportsbook, read on. 

Learning the Insides and Outs

Here we will discuss how a bookie operation works so you can decide for yourself if it is a good fit for you.

1. First, Let’s Start with the Basics, What is a Bookie?

A bookie is someone who posts betting odds and then accepts and then pays our winnings or collects debts from these wagers.

2. How do Bookies Make Money?

The term bookie comes from the bookmaker, back in the day when there were no computers, all bets were written down on a book, and the guy taking the bets was the one recording everything, hence the term bookmaker.

The key to a successful bookie is balance, just like an accountant, bookies need to balance the books, the way to do this is to receive the same about of bets on either side of a game, this hardly ever happens but the closer you get the lesser exposure you have and the better your chances of making a profit.

The profits come from the juice, this is a commission charged on every wager, the amount varies depending on the game and sport but it is usually considered 10%. The idea is that bookies will collect from the players who lost their wagers, pay the players who won, and keep the difference.

3. Is Necessary to Own an Online Sportsbook to Start a Bookie Operation?

No, in fact, these days it is inadvisable for independent bookies to own their own sportsbooks, as these represent a huge monthly overhead, that will hinder the success of the business.

Using a pay per head service is the best way to get started in this business.

4. Is Owning a Sportsbook Illegal?

In some states yes, in other states no. Let’s dive into that a little further. 

While the Supreme Court said that a federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional, they left it up to each individual state to regulate sports betting within its borders. This means that your state can create its own rules and regulations surrounding sports betting

For example, in the following states, sports betting is not currently legal and there is no legislation in progress to legalize it: 

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah 
  • Vermont

In other states, sports betting is legal but not yet operational, while state legislatures work out the details of how it will operate. Others allowed it for a short time and then had to discontinue operations after lawsuits were filed by certain groups.

For example, in Florida, you could bet on sports using the Hard Rock Sportsbook app beginning in November 2021. This was short-lived, though, as groups fought back against the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which operates all casinos in the state and also operated the sportsbook.

The app was only live for about a month and court appeals are still making their way through the justice system. 

5. Who Can Operate a Sportsbook?

While owning a sportsbook may be legal in some states, there are regulations on who can operate them. In some states, like Arizona, authorized sportsbook operators include ten tribal casinos and ten professional sports/teams or venues. 

In states like North Caroline and North Dakota, only tribal casinos can operate a sportsbook while in New Hampshire, the New Hampshire lottery operates the sportsbook. 

Beyond regulating who can operate the sportsbook, states also vary in whether they allow online or mobile betting and what teams may be wagered on.

Many states do not allow bets to be placed on sports teams or collegiate teams located within the state. In New York, for example, no wagers may be made on any in-state collegiate teams or on any events taking place within the state. 

States that do not allow online or mobile betting render entitles like FanDuel and Draftkings sportsbooks illegal.

As you can see, the answer to the question “is owning a sportsbook illegal” is complicated. It depends on the state you are in, what kind of organization you are a part of, and how you want to offer sports betting.

6. What is a Pay Per Head Service?

A PPH or price per head sportsbook service is a company that provides all the infrastructure that an online sportsbook needs, including betting software, a website, a contact center, IT management, and more. They provide the service of posting lines and accepting wagers on behalf of the bookie. The bookie remains solely responsible for acquiring and retaining players, as well as paying and collecting money.

While the bookie will have a say on every aspect of the business like what type of betting odds are offered to his players, the wagering limits, and maximum payouts, the price per head company will take care of the actual day-to-day operation, leaving the bookie free to search for new clients.

7. Which is the Best PPH Service?

While many will tell you, that this is a tricky question to answer because every independent bookie has different requirements, that is simply not true. The leader in the pay per head bookie business is Ace Per Head.com, and they have been for years.

The reason they are the best is that over the years they have developed the perfect structure to accommodate any bookie requirement regardless of how many players they are and how complex their operation is.

They offer the strongest betting lines and the best customer service, and more importantly, they help bookies generate higher profits every single season compared to the competition.

Pay Per Head Facts

Sportsbooks and the Law

If you can become an independent bookie in your state, you’ll need a reputable pay-per-head service. We provide all of the services you need to make running your sportsbook simple.

This should give you a general understanding of how a bookie operation works, it is up to you to decide if this is the right business opportunity for you.

If you still have doubts and would like more information about the pay per head services provided by AcePerHead, feel free to contact us today, we will be happy to help.