Bookie Money Management

Sports gambling is big business. Consider that in December 2020, Pennsylvania’s handle was $548 million. That’s one month!

Being a bookie isn’t just about creating lines. It’s not as simple as taking bets and paying out winners. It’s about money management.

If you expect to make money in this industry, you have to know how to handle every cent that comes in and goes out of your book. It’s like any other business.

How you perform the accounting end of your bookmaker enterprise is a key to being successful in the long-term. Yes, bookie money management is as important as handicapping the games.

Check out these bookie business tips to help you operate your sportsbook in the black.

So You Want to be a Bookie?

Does the recent legalization of sports gambling have you fantasizing about starting your own sportsbook? Yeah, you see all that money coming into state tax coffers and you think you should get a piece of that action.

You’re right, you should. But before you do, you should ask yourself a few questions before you learn how to run a bookie business.

Do You Love Sports?

Do you love sports to the point where you could spend every day of the week watching them, reading about them, and researching obscure statistics?

You need to love sports if you’re going to be a successful bookie. You need to love them to the point that you’re willing to let them consume a huge portion of your life.

Do You Understand Sports Betting?

Can you start work as an electrician without an apprenticeship? Can you run a successful bar without knowing how to manage your inventory?

Would you expect to make money on the stock market without knowing how to trade? The answer to all those questions is no, you wouldn’t.

So how could you expect to make money in the sports gambling business without knowing about sports gambling? You can’t. It’s that simple.

Opening up a sportsbook without knowing how to gamble on sports is like opening your wallet and asking strangers to take your money. If you intend on operating a sportsbook, you have to know how to gamble.

How’s Your Budget?

Are you the type of person who spends your money as soon as you make it? Do you overdraft your bank account?

If you have trouble with money management in your personal life, being a bookie might not be the best career choice. There’s hope for you yet. Learning how to manage your money is an important part of learning how to gamble on sports.

Once you figure out bankroll management, you can transfer those skills to your personal life. Once you’re successful at balancing your budget, you can think about operating a sportsbook.

Are You Willing to Hustle?

Owning a business means hard work no matter what it is. If you start a sportsbook, you can’t expect players to start laying action with you as soon as you’re operational.

Given the huge numbers, it might seem that gambling is can’t lose business. You’d think there would be a line of players willing to part with their hard-earned money and bet with you. If you think that, you’re wrong.

Legalized online gambling means the competition for sportsbooks is greater now than it ever has been. If you started a sportsbook ten years ago, the only competition you faced was from other small-time bookies.

Now you compete with casinos. Then there are the online-only sportsbooks with the kind of capital necessary to take high limit bets and offer exciting bonuses.

If you want to be successful, you have to go out and win players away from these easy gambling platforms.

Risk Management

When you’re a bookie, you handicap games based on the probability of events. You set the line based on who you think will win a game and by how much, combined with a spread number you think will generate action on both sides.

Your attempt to generate action on both sides of a bet is meant to balance your book so your collections and payouts remain even. It’s a hard thing to do well, and this is why it’s so important to understand how sports gambling works.

In the end, making money in the bookie business is all about managing the risk exposure. Do that, and the rest of your money management is a cinch.

Let’s discuss some key aspects of bookie risk management here.

Setting the Market

Betting markets open once you, the bookie, set the odds on a game. You come up with a number based on the probability of future events. In the old days, bookies did this themselves.

Many of the big, market-making Las Vegas casinos still operate this way. Across the country, many commercial sportsbooks and casinos employ a third-party line service that computes and sets lines for them.

When you enroll with a pay per head platform like AcePerHead, you also have the option of using one of these line services to keep your lines sharp as possible.

Once the odds are set, the market opens and players buy teams or individuals at certain numbers they like.

Line Movement

Once the market opens and players start buying or betting, you have to move your lines in an attempt to balance the bets on either side. Say your book opens on a football game featuring Cleveland vs. Kansas City.

You set Kansas City as a favorite at -7.5. Once the market opens, you notice your players buying Kansas City at that number. What do you do?

You can keep the line where it is and lose your shirt if Kansas City covers that number. Or you can move the line and try to encourage an equal amount of play on Cleveland so your book balances.

Your line movement depends on how much money you’ve taken. If you’ve taken a large amount on Kansas City, you might move that number up to -8.5 to get bettors to play Cleveland.

Setting Limits

The most interesting part of the sports gambling business is the uncertainty of the events. You or a gambler cannot control what happens on the field of play.

The less certain you are of an outcome, the more risk you expose yourself to. One of the best bookie tips in these scenarios is to set betting limits.

If you notice your book has a weak spot in certain sports, or if you’re not at all certain of the outcome of a game, you can limit how much your players can wager. This way you reduce your possible future losses.

The Layoff Account

Just because you’re a bookie doesn’t mean you don’t make bets yourself. Many bookies manage their money by operating a layoff account, where they’ll make bets to offset possible losses.

To use a layoff account, you have to keep track of where your potential losses might be. During a full football slate, you might notice you have a majority of players still betting Kansas City even at the higher 8.5.

If Kansas City covers, your book stands to lose money. To help mitigate the risk, a bookie will use their layoff account to lay a bet of their own on Kansas City and use these winnings to cover potential losses.

Organization Tips

All the risk management skills in the world can’t help you if you can’t keep organized. A bookie needs to keep track of every dollar that comes in on a bet, and what’s paid out to keep track of their profit.

A great way to lose players and lose money is not having an adequate amount of bankroll cash to pay out your winners.

In the old days, bookies had to keep intricate ledgers. Every cent had to be tracked and accounted for. While that’s still true today, modern technology makes it easy. PPH platforms like AcePerHead do the organizational work for you.

These PPH software platforms keep real-time records of all your players, how much they bet, and how many bets you have open. Bookie organizing has never been easier or more efficient.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have to organize. In the bookie business, time is money. Since you are your own boss, it’s easy to lose track of how to manage your time to be more successful.

The best tip for bookies is to make a daily plan of what you need to achieve and the time frame for each task. How much time do you devote to research? How often do you do player outreach?

If you’re building your business through a blog or newsletter, how many posts do you need to write to keep your players updated?

Bookie Money Management Equals Success

The bookie business isn’t a walk in the park. You need to have a firm grasp of gambling fundamentals. You better be willing to hustle.

More importantly, you need to master the art of risk mitigation and bookie money management. Thanks to PPH gambling platforms like, these skills have never been easier to master.

Are you a sharp who’s ready to go from laying action to taking action? You know that’s where the money is. Sign up with today and get your dream sportsbook ready before the next big game.

How Does the Bookmaker System Work?

The best way to operate a bookie system is by using a pay per head site.  The services provide everything you would need to work a bookie system and they handle all the bookmaking aspects of the system. These services manage all the lines up to the second and post thousands of betting options for players to bet on each day.

In addition, the bookie system on a pay per head site grades all wagers as soon as each game is complete, and then all balances are automatically updated into both the players’ personal account and the agents’ account.  In addition, there is a history report of all graded wagers and any pending wagers that can also be seen in both the players’ and bookies’ account.

One of the most used bookie systems in the market is Ace Per  They offer some of the sharpest lines in the industry and more overall betting options than the average service. In addition, they have a detailed agent backend system that has numerous useful reports that allow a bookie to fully manage his entire group of players and subagents.

In addition, to the weekly balances report that shows what each player has won or loss for the day and week, and the open wagers and wager history report that shows all the details of each wager placed by each player, there are many other helpful tools and reports to use. 

The player management section is where a bookie will have the list of all his player accounts that have been set up and is where one can edit each account password, credit limit, minimum and maximum wager limits, and offer free plays, update player balances with receipts and disbursements when players pay or get paid. In addition, there is an option to add additional players as you grow your business and to clone existing accounts to make similar settings for new players.

There is also a player analysis report that gives very detailed information on any specific player, by breaking down exactly what the player has won or lost from each type of wager he has made, and broken down over selected time frames. This is a great way to analyze any player, especially if a player has been winning.  It can show you exactly where the player has been having the most success, such as winning on first halves in college basketball, and then with that information, Ace can make limit changes on those specific types of bets on that player.

There is also a wager alert feature that can be used if you want to receive a text or email each time a specific player makes a wager or each time a wager is placed over a specified amount.  This can be used to help manage a bookie’s risk, by either laying off a part of a wager or using the move line feature to adjust a line because you are getting heavy lopsided action on a specific team.

There are other useful reports that can be used on the site and if you have any questions on any of the reports Ace is available 24/7 by phone, text, live chat and email to help explain anything about the bookie system that you would want to know. Call today at 1-800-909-5193 and get set up on one of the most popular bookie systems in the business.