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About bookmakers. How a bookmaker works

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About bookmakers. How a bookmaker works

A bookmaker is a company operating under a license to provide services of taking bets on sports events.

A bookie takes money from bettors under the current odds and pays out winnings to those of its clients who made the right predictions.


It is considered that bookmaker business as we know it now was established in the second half of the 19th century. The first bookie in the history was a small room where absolutely any person could place a bet on horse betting. The first bookmaker business was organized by Pierre Oller, an ordinary Parisian shop keeper. In 1872, the entrepreneurial trader started to take bets and set his own odds for horse racing outcomes. A curious fact is that today’s bookies are using the same principles as more than a hundred years ago.

Bookmakers grew extremely popular in Great Britain that nowadays has the largest pool of online bookmakers in the world.

In the United States, the history of bookmakers was not as smooth as in Europe. Bookmaker offices were outlawed in many US states at once. But eventually, bookmaker business was legalized in America which allowed to create bestbetting opportunities for the public.

How a bookmaker works

The primary task of any bookie is to calculate the probabilities of different outcomes for an upcoming sports event. Based on the probabilities, online bookmakers set the odds for sports events.

Low odds mean that a sports outcome is very likely to come true. High odds, on the contrary, mean that the chances of an outcome happening are pretty slim.

Winnings are calculated based on the respective odds. According to the European system, you need to multiply the odds by the size of you bet to know how much you earned. Along with European system, there are English and American systems as well.

Online bookmakers in different countries

Football betting is the top popular betting trend on European betting websites. Tennis matches, Formula 1 races, and basketball games are other popular sports among bettors all over the globe. American sports fans prefer to bet on soccer, basketball, and hockey.

A bookie makes multiple mathematical calculations on a daily basis. With a huge range of sports events and odds out there, a large bookmaker may have up to several analytical departments that are busy analyzing hundreds of sports events on a weekly basis. Based on thorough and scrupulous analysis, they set odds published on a betting website.

Bear in mind that an online bookmaker can adjust its odds if they are incorrect or a certain outcome is ignored by bettors due to some reasons.

Bookmaker’s profits are incorporated in the odds. A bookie’s profit reaches 8% of its total turnover. However odd it may sound, a bookie does not care if an individual bettor wins or loses. Its main goal is to maximize the total amount of bets placed on its betting site.

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