The bookmaker. In general terms this term refers to a professional bet taker who calculates odds and pays out winnings. In non-general terms, a bookmaker, also referred to as a bookie, is successful based upon their ability to offer odds that counter actual probabilities. While some see this profession as a dying breed, there are still exponential opportunities to modernize the bookmaker position such as utilizing the internet to establish and expand your market, networking with larger organizations, and relying heavily on customer service.
3 Steps to Becoming a Bookmaker
When venturing into the bookmaker profession, it is important to start by acquiring players as well as investing in betting software designed to automatically take players best. This type of software is generally referred to as a “pay per head service” and there are various online companies, such as Realbookies.com, that offer these services to entrepreneurial bookmakers.
In acquiring players, it is beneficial to deduce if they are trustworthy, solid, smart individuals. These types of players will not only help build a loyal, returning client base, but they offer a breadth of revenue leniency for lost players. The average goal for a successful player-base should be around 200, give or take.
Grow your client base using marketing tricks such as word-of mouth. Gamblers know gamblers, factor in the knowledge that we as a society enjoy talking, and add in a high-level of customer service experience. A great reputation will help advance the number of players opting to place their bets with you.
There are other tactics such as targeting specific gambling types such as golfers, known for their express enjoy of the gambling game, becoming a regular at bars in different neighborhoods to network, or even partnering with another bookie.
2) Regulations (UK Specific)
While a majority of the bookmaker profession centers around networking and bookkeeping, a large responsibility falls upon the bookmaker to be aware of legal regulations.
In the United Kingdom specifically, gambling is regulated via the Gambling Commission, a relatively new regulatory body coming into full power in 2007, established under the Gambling Act of 2005. While the Gambling Commission regulates casinos, bingo, arcades, betting, slot machines, and lotteries, most importantly it oversees all remote betting including online and telephone. As a bookmaker entrepreneur, online resources will most likely be the lifeblood of your business, therefore becoming intimately familiar with the Gambling Commission’s guidelines is key.
Above all else make sure to have acquired an appropriate gambling license. All licensing information as well as the applications for licenses can be obtained via the Gambling Commissions website. The website also offers personal licenses which are required for betting as well as remote services.
3) Challenges vs. Benefits
Bookmaking is an exceptionally difficult, yet rewarding career. There will be endless challenges and overwhelming benefits, some of which have been outlined below.
- Costs and Turnover
The costs of running a bookmaker business are not overly abundant, yet still substantial for a start-up. Taking into consideration upfront that a start-up runs in the red for the first few years and planning accordingly can help alleviate issues.
Going hand-in-hand with initial costs comes loss of income due to turnover. Players will come and go at all times, therefore working to build your client base to a comfortable level will make turnover an easy burden to bare.
This profession comes with varied and overwhelming amounts of stress at times. Managing player bets is a full-time job, therefore organization is key. This is also a very personal job, dealing with many clients face-to-face who may have been dealt bad luck in recent bets. Lastly, there are the players who have bad debt and refuse to pay.
- Constant Evolution
While the business of betting is somewhat stable and slow changing, the bookmaker profession must constantly evolve. In order to keep up with the larger betting companies, other individual rivals, and the constant flow of turnover, it is the bookmaker’s job to find new avenues of reaching players, networking, and providing excellent customer service.
While there are many challenges in this line of work, there are also excellent benefits.
- Building Professionalism
Once a client-base has been built, the fun part begins. Reputable relations with players can be extremely rewarding. Building healthy relationships that successfully benefit both bookmaker and player are business alliances in their own nature. Professionalism in the bookmaking industry is key and will lend advantageous support, loyalty, and trust to your business.
For some this is one of the best benefits. As a bookmaker, travel is a key aspect of the job. Being organized in your travel design, avoiding traffic and making sure to be present for appointments, will turn what could be a challenge into a point of interest. Not only do bookmakers get to see new cities or learn old ones, it also provides the access to new players and networking opportunities.
- Discover New Markets, Growth, and Success
If you decide to become a bookmaker, then your personality is most likely curbed to this type of work. Therefore, seeing the growth of your business, reveling in the successes, and facing the challenge of identify new markets on a continual basis will be a rewarding experience.
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