Bookmaking 101: The Ultimate Guide

There’s typically three ways to become apart of the bookmaking industry if you want a piece of the action. You can become a bookie, a sub-agent or a master agent. We’ll explain all three roles.

Each role has positives and negatives. It’s important to understand each role prior to deciding what you want to do. Your experience level will also play a role in your decision.

If you already run a local bookie then you wouldn’t be interested in becoming an agent. However, if you have zero experience in the industry, becoming an sub-agent first is often the best choice.

Becoming a Bookie, Master Agent or Sub-Agent

I’m going to explain the three roles below.

  • Bookie: As a bookie you’re running your own operation entirely. You’ll need to run the daily operations, provide support to your players, market your sportsbook to find new players and be the bankroll. You’ll be on the hook to payout all winners, but you’ll also get to keep 100% of your players’ losses minus the small fee you pay to your pay-per-head provider.
  • Master Agent: Many bookies also end up becoming master agents. As a master agent your job is to find sub-agents to work under you. Your the bank of the entire operation, meaning you payout all winners. If your sub-agent’s players lose, you’ll get to keep the losses minus the commission rate you pay your sub-agent, which is typically around 25%, but varies.
  • Sub-Agent: As a sub-agent your job is to run the day-to-day operations. However, you don’t have any risks. The master agent pays out the winners and you’ll receive a commission on net losses. If you know people who want to bet and you can book their action, but you don’t have a bankroll yet to become a full-service bookie then becoming a sub-agent is ideal.

Becoming an agent has benefits, especially for those new to the industry.

Sub-agents don’t need a bankroll to get started in the business. If you think you can find players and you have time to run the daily operations, but you lack the funds to bankroll the business, becoming a sub-agent is your best bet to gain experience and make some money.

Master agents typically have less time to run the business, but want in on the action. They bankroll the operation and typically earn more than 50% of the profits. There’s risk involved and you need to spend time regularly analyzing the betting reports to ensure the business is running smoothly.

Once you have some experience in the industry becoming a bookie is your best bet. You get to keep all of the profits from the business and you’re not relying on agents to make you money. Everything is in your control and you can run your business how you see fit without restrictions.

As you can see, there are a few ways to get into the bookmaking business and you don’t necessarily need to become a bookie right away. Consider your options and then make a decision.

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