If you want to bet or wager on any game or any sport you need to know about a bookmaker. This is one of the basics you need to learn. One of the firsts, in simple terms you can say that it’s something that a Betting 101 class would cover.
Bookmaking is a gambling practice of determining odds. It consists of receiving and paying off bets on the outcomes of sporting events, political contests or other competitive events. But today we are concentrating on sports betting and the role of bookmaking and bookies in sports betting.
A bookmaker or a bookie as it’s popularly called takes the bets on sports events at agreed upon odds. A bookie may be a person or an organization, the main thing is that they enable gambling in sporting events.
Bookmakers are legal in many countries however some operate illegally too. This legality is subject to the jurisdiction of the country. They mostly accept bets on sporting events like association football, horse racing, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing and so on… They may also accept bets on political elections, award ceremonies and other such events.
The profession of bookmaking is known to be in existence from the time of gladiators in ancient Rome. They would accept bets on the outcomes of the gladiator fights or on the chariot races. Today in many countries of the world the only legal form of bookmaking mostly done on sporting events is done via state supervised organizations or via organizations which are directly owned by the state. Some examples of such countries are Singapore, Canada, Japan and Sweden. In the Unites states of America betting is legal only in Nevada, in all other states it is generally considered illegal.
How does a bookmaker operate?
The bookmaker works to operate the odds so as to have them in their favor. They seek to achieve a balanced book. This is their primary focus. They try to achieve a balanced book by having bettors competing against each other for the same odds or the same event. They try to have a balance in their book by having a number of people placing bets on the happening of a certain event and the same or close to equal number of people wagering on the non happening of the same event.
By doing so a bookmaker is certain to make profit irrespective of what the outcome of the bet is. If a large bet is placed a bookmaker is also known to place smaller bets with other bookmakers or buy bets from them to lay off the risk. There are some organizations which accept only such lay – off bets. They help protect the bookmaker as well as create a sort of insurance for the casual bettor. They are however not known to make their money by betting on events; rather they make money by way of profits when they act as market makers. Thus they have a source of income regardless the outcome of the event.
Their working style is similar to that of an actuary working in the insurance industry.
With the internet bookmaking is done online too. This has given it greater reach. Sometimes online bookmakers compete with the traditional bookmakers. However more often than not they are known to work together in harmony often forming symbiotic relations.
This is the basic or the crux of what bookies do. I hope this article has simplified the process of bookmaking for you.