Starting a Sportsbook

Sports betting has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry over the years. This growth spurt in recent years is due in part to the improvements made to sportsbook software, which has allowed greater product diversification.

Proven Tips from The Pros

Technological advances and the proliferation of pay-per-head companies have made owning an online sportsbook easier than ever. However, there are still some trade secrets that can significantly impact the initial success of your online sportsbook.

Initial Planning

Every new business venture requires planning. There is no getting around that. Lack of planning has contributed to the failure of more online sportsbooks than anyone cares to recognize, so our advice to anyone who is considering becoming an online bookie, is to take your time to consider the following:

Why do You Want to Become a Bookie?

Become Bookie Requirements

If your sole answer is to become rich; we would strongly advise you to reconsider your choice.

Owning a business is not just a way to make a living; you need to be passionate about what you do and have some basic skills to do it.

If you are not passionate about sports and gambling in general, then investing in an online sportsbook is not a good idea.

To clarify, being passionate about gambling does not mean you need to an avid or compulsive gambler. Bookies are like bar owners; you need to know your product and how to sell it, not necessarily consume it.

How Much Time Can You Dedicate to Your Online Sportsbook?

Sportsbook Software

Will you be dedicating yourself full-time to your sports gambling site, or do you have a job with a fixed schedule?

Knowing how much time you have to dedicate yourself to fundamental aspects of the business, like building your player sheet, paying and collecting, and managing player requests is vital because it can help determine the pace at which your business can grow.

How Much Money Do You Have to Start?

Best Sportsbook Software

Budget is perhaps the most crucial aspect of launching an online site.

If you have no bettors lined up, then you need to delay your launch date, there is no use in paying for a price per head sportsbook service if you won’t be using it.

If you have a few players ready to start betting with you, then you need to figure out how long your starting budget can carry you.
Always consider the worst-case scenario first. Ask yourself, how many weeks can I afford to pay my players more than what I collect?

If you only have money to pay your players for one or two weeks, consider looking for an investor. Most online businesses require at least six months to start generating consistent profits. Online sportsbooks will most likely yield benefits before the 6-month mark, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Do your Research

I Want to Be a Bookie

There seem to be hundreds of new pay-per-head companies popping up every year. Knowing how to select the perfect pay-per-head service for your venture is crucial to the success of your online gambling site.

When searching for a price per head service, consider the following:

  • How long have they been in business? The older the company is, the better they are.
  • Are they capable of meeting your specific needs? Not all pay-per-head companies can handle large, complex agent packages. Others don’t pay enough attention to the small guys.
  • Is there sportsbook software compatible with all devices and easy to use? Although most sportsbook software providers are compatible with both desktop and mobile devices, not all price-per-head services, have all features enabled, and this can be a problem.
  • Do they provide you with a custom website?
  • How well do they perform? Look for a price per head that has an above-average weekly hold. As a reference most price per head companies have an average 7% weekly hold, however, we know of at least one top-rated PPH that averages a 12% weekly hold. The higher the hold, the more money you get to put in your pockets.

Getting Ready to Launch

You have done your homework, and you are now ready to launch your brand-new online sportsbook, here are some tips to ensure your launch is a success.

  • Take Advantage of Promotions

The PPH scene is very competitive, which could end up being very advantageous for new bookies. For instance, Ace Per has several promotions, including up to 6 weeks free.

Taking advantage of a free trial can help stretch your budget further than you had initially estimated. By cutting down on your initial overhead expenses, your business will have a better chance of success.

  • Technology is King

Most first-time bookies tend to choose their price per head service based mostly on price. We are here to tell you, that is never a good idea.

While affordability is important, the overall reliability of the network, including servers, internet service, and sportsbook software is more important not only to ensure your business survives but that it thrives for the years to come.

Let me explain with a real-life example. First NFL Sunday of the season, and as usual, most bettors wait until the last minute to place their final bets. You are excited about the volume you are generating, and then, it all stops. The site has crashed and is no longer able to accept wagers. You frantically call your PPH, but the phones are busy because everyone is calling asking about the same thing, what happened, and when the service is restored.

In the meantime, your players are calling you saying they can’t get through. You finally get to speak to the PPH customer service rep, and they say the servers crashed because there were too many transactions, the techs are working on it. But, by the time the techs fix the problem, the games are off the board and you lost a ton of money.

The best pay-per-head services have made sure their server capacity far exceeds the load at peak times.

  • Don’t Forget About Customer Experience

Sometimes as bookies, we forget how profitable offering our bettors a positive wagering experience can be.

Research shows that people like to repeat and share with others their pleasant experiences. Therefore, when selecting a price per head company, make sure they offer the following:

  • A Backend that is easy to navigate
  • Web, mobile, and over-the-phone wagering
  • Native English-Speaking Reps
  • 24/7/365 Wagering and Customer Service
  • Wide Range of Wager Types and Betting Markets

If all this seems a bit overwhelming, don’t worry, you are not alone. The initial stages of launching an online sports wagering site are often stressful, but they don’t have to be.

Contact the experts at and enlist the help of gambling professionals.