How do Bookies Make Money?

How do Bookies Make Money
How do Bookies Make Money?

Bookies are people that accept wagers on various sporting events. So when someone makes a wager on saying the New England Patriots against the New York Jets, then the bookie needs the opposite team to win or cover the spread in order for him to make money on that wager. So whenever any of the bookies’ players make a wager he will always need the other team to win or cover the spread in order to make money.

The good news is that gamblers always loss over the long term, which means that whatever the players’ losses will be money earned by the bookie. In addition, all sports wagers have a vig which is generally 10% which means if someone wants to win $100 then they need to pay the vig or the juice which means they need to risk $110 to win $100. That 10% juice on all wagers adds up quickly so even if a player wins half of his wagers, he will still end up losing money to the bookie, because of all the juice he lost on each of his losing wagers.

So if bookies make money from players that lose when they gamble, then the best way to make the most money is to either have players that give a ton of action or to just keep acquiring new players that want to bet with you. The more players you have, then the more money you are going to end up making in the long run.

The other thing that bookies do to make money is to use a pay per head website that allows you to piggyback off their lines and betting platform. Price per head websites, such as charge a small fee of $10 per active player a week, and then in return, they provide the bookie with a website with thousands of betting options each day. They manage the lines up to the second and grade everything as soon as each game is over, and then everything gets automatically updated to the players and bookies account so they can see exactly how much they are up or down on the day, the week, month or lifetime of the account.

The reason this small investment of $10 a player a week is well worth it is that between the time it would take a bookie to do everything on his own manually and the lack of betting options you would have because there is no way one person can manually keep track of thousands of betting options per day, would make this a full-time job with limited profit potential. Instead, you just pay a company like Ace Per Head a small fee each week and this will mean you do not need to invest any of your own time to manage the website and also your players are going to lose a lot more money when they have the ability to bet on a mobile website 24/7. So call Ace Per Head now at 1-800-909-5193 to get set up immediately so you can start making money today.

Juice & Commissions: How Much do Sportsbooks Keep as Profit?

The most important part of any business is how much money you can get from the business. As a bookie you are in charge of a lot of money, as you manage many bets. But when looking at the money you probably ask, what percentage do bookies take? The amount of money a bookie can make depends on many factors, such as; the number of players per week, how much per bet, and how often players place bets. Basically, the more money involved, players, and bets that are made per day equal more money for the sportsbook agent. As with any business, the more customers you have, the more money you will take home. But there is more to it than that when it comes to the salary of a sportsbook agent.

The Math Behind the Salary of a Bookie

First, it is important to establish when a bookie makes money. A bookie makes money when a player makes a bet on an event with an agent. The bookie sets the point spread or the Moneyline to keep the action balanced on both sides of the outcome, whether that means favoring the Miami Dolphins to beat the New England Patriots by 3 ½ points, or making the Moneyline Miami -120 / New England +160.


What percentage do bookies take? That question refers to the book fee that is collected from a wager. Bookies usually take around 10 percent, this is what they call the “juice” or the vig. This is the most definitive source of income for a sportsbook agent. The money that is not collected is returned to the book. For example, let’s say that a player bets on a game between the Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys. Let’s say the Cowboys are favored by 10 points, so you take the Cowboys, at a -10 spread with -110 odds. The player puts down $110 for the bet. If the player wins then they would get $210 back total (the original bet plus $100) back, if they were to lose, the book would keep the $110. Over time, that $10 edge on the favorites contributes to the bookie’s profits.

Maximize Earnings

In order for a sportsbook agent to make a decent living, they have to maximize profits. To understand the question “What percentage do bookies take?” the bookie gets their money from a vig, also known as the book fee on a wager. So the only way to maximize profit is to increase the opportunities to collect wager fees such as vig. In order to do that an agent must bring more business to their service, offer and manage more bets, and offer a wide variety of bets. If an agent can be versatile and offer high dollar bets as well as low dollar bets, then the money they collect will be on a spectrum. Some players start low and go high, and vice versa. It is important to encourage these trends by having these options available in bulk. The faster an agent can process and complete wagers, the more money they will make. If an agent can use a bookie software to operate an “assembly line” of gambling, then they will make good money — which is where having a spot on a platform like comes in.

Where PPH software comes into play

There is a common saying, “spend money, to make money”, and in this context it is applicable. The best way for a sportsbook agent to make money in the modern gambling market is to invest in high-quality price per head software service. Price per head service packages are an excellent way to increase profit margins, especially Service packages like then include a website based software that includes all of the tools necessary to run a smooth operation. Price per head service processes all of the bets automatically, and constantly updates the data, so your cash flow will increase because you will be able to handle numerous players and bets at the same time. And price per head software, especially, scales the growth as you go, so you will always meet demand. And meeting demand will increase your cash flow exponentially.


As you can see, to maximize the answer to “what percentage do bookies take?” for your own business, if you do decide to increase profit via price per head services, is a premier option. With features such as live betting, automatic processing, expanded market, etc., it is the perfect software for making money. If you want to collect vig more often and “make bank”, then they are the way to go. The live casino in itself offers many opportunities to collect and process a wide variety of wagers.

As mentioned earlier, is able to automatically process your bets and update player data. This constant flow of cash and data will make your business uber efficient. The expanded market has a huge impact on profit. The numerous leagues and teams offer a multitude of spreads and lines to cover daily, the international scale operates on provides options constantly for players. Earlier we discussed examples of individual spreads and what happened in each scenario. Even if the agent won, they got a small percentage of the pot, which is how the market works. So by using price per head software, such as, to increase your chances of collecting a vig is the foundation to your business. Agents have to depend on their player base, if it does not grow, then the business will falter. As in every business at this scale, consumers decide which service lives and dies. So as an agent, your business has to be geared towards the customer, using price per head services to create a fast-paced and exciting environment for players will go a long way in building your sportsbook business.

How Much Money do You Need to Start a Bookmaker Business?

Have you thought about leaving your 9-5 job behind and using your sportsbook as your primary source of revenue? You’re not alone – after all, many people who scramble to take calls and texts for their neighborhood sportsbook while negotiating the demands of another full-time job have been where you are in terms of stress. Maybe your book brings in a little money on the side, enough to make you think that you can expand. Before you make the jump, though, consider whether you are financially ready.

Getting Your Sportsbook Up and Running

There are other questions you’ll need to answer, particularly if you are just now launching your book, in addition to how much money you need to start a bookie business. These questions include:

  • What is the law with respect to sportsbooks where you live? (After all, it’s one thing to run an under-the-table book with cash, but once you go online, law enforcement can find you much, much more easily.)
  • How will you go about setting your lines?
  • How much vig do you ask for?
  • What happens when your book starts to grow?
  • How do you track all of the action?
  • What will you do when sharp bettors find your book?

If you use a sportsbook platform such as, some of these questions won’t matter as much. The platform will offer lines that you can choose (or you can still set your own). The big question is still up to you, so you’ll need to figure out what you can charge as opposed to what your betting clients will pay.

The questions about growth, tracking, and dealing with sharp bettors will remain. If you are online with, you don’t have to worry about the growth, because the administration is their problem – you just have to make sure you have enough money on hand to deal with the extra action. If you notice that there are some people who keep winning, week after week, you can place limits on their actions.

So how much money do you need?

The answer to the question, how much money do you need to start a bookie site, is complicated. Obviously, you need to be able to afford licenses and fees to get your bookie site up and running. You will also need enough cash to cover every bet from the start. You should always have enough cash in reserves to cover every bet your clients have placed. Of course, if you set your lines correctly and then adjust them to keep action in balance, you should not need to send all your cash out at once, but that is still an industry standard.

After all, you never know when a sports event will turn out poorly for you and leave you unbalanced. In the wild card round of the 2020 NFL playoffs, the New Orleans Saints were 11-point favorites over the Chicago Bears. They led the Bears, 21-3, in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, and a lot of the big sportsbooks were nervous because the action on the Saints to cover had been so heavy.

Then the Bears scored a touchdown as time expired, to draw within 21-9. An extra point would make the final score 21-10 – resulting in a push. However, in NFL games, you do not try an extra point after time has expired, when that point does not make a difference competitively. In the wild card game, there are no tiebreakers to worry about, so the teams went into the locker room, the Saints won by 12, and a lot of big books were out a ton of money. All this is to say, of course, that you need to have money on hand to cover each bet.

Here’s an example of how it might work out for you. Let’s say you offer action on five games for a particular day and take in this action, all at 110 to 100 as the vig:

Game 1: $1200 on Team A and $1000 on Team B

Game 2: $750 on Team C and $900 on Team D

Game 3: $800 on Team E and $600 on Team F

Game 4: $750 on Team G and $650 on Team H

Game 5: $1000 on Team I and $900 on Team J

Because opposite bets cancel one another out, here’s your net exposure by game:

Game 1: $200

Game 2: $150

Game 3: $200

Game 4: $100

Game 5: $100

So even though your total handle is $8,550 (all of the bets totaled up), your total exposure is capped at $750 – and that’s if all six games go against you. Realistically, you can expect that about half the action will go one way and half will go the other, so the key is to make sure that all your wagers stay as balanced as possible. You also keep the $10 extra on the $110 on the games where you win.

Do I really need to sign up with a sportsbook platform?

There are people who run successful bookies sites on their own, either the old school way, using cash, or through websites that they have designed. However, that takes a significant investment, in terms of developing the website. Also, it adds the hassle of having to manage things should the server go down. Over time, the investment in a pay per head bookie platform such as really pays off. Wouldn’t you rather just focus on the fun parts of running a sportsbook? That means picking games, setting lines, choosing creative props, and telling more and more of your friends about your sportsbook. It doesn’t mean having to take frantic calls from your betting clients when the website crashes and dealing with collections from betting clients who don’t want to pay up. Consider using a platform like; the small weekly fee you pay for each betting client will pay off in time that you have back as you continue that transition into a full-time sportsbook agent.