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How Much Do Bookies Make?

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Now that sports betting is legal in a number of states, there are plenty of opportunities to make money as a bookie.

Bookie is short for a bookmaker. In the past, this person kept a physical book to keep track of odds and bets for their clients. Today, much of this is done digitally but the name remains.

If you’ve thought about making money this way, you may be wondering, “How much do bookies make?” Keep reading to learn why there’s no simple answer to that question.

How Much Do Bookies Make?

How much a bookie makes depends on several factors:

  • How many people are betting
  • How much they’re betting on each game
  • How often they’re betting
  • Which sports they’re betting on
  • How well people place their bets.

What you can expect to earn is between $500 and $700 for every $10,000 that is wagered by your players. This is because you’ll get between five and seven percent of bets even if your books are balanced.

How Bookies Earn Money

There are a few ways bookies earn money. Understanding these will help you see how you can make the most money as a bookie.


Also known as “vig,” a vigorish is essentially manipulating the odds so that you can earn some money no matter what the outcome is. Let’s consider an event where both sides have an equal chance of winning.

These odds would be 50/50. If a bookie were to pay out on those odds, each winner would double their money and the bookie would only make money if they had more losers than winners.

A vigorish in this example would change the payout so that each person only makes 90% of their original bet. That way, with a balanced book, the bookie would still turn a decent profit.

Odd Compliers

Odd compilers, or traders, work for big betting companies. They set the odds for each event so they accurately reflect the possible outcome and provide the biggest profit for the company.

While some bookies will set their own odds, it’s far easier to use a fully managed sportsbook. This will save you a ton of time and let you take bets on every game and event without needing to know anything about it.

Balancing the Books

No matter what the odds are, it’s important to keep your books as balanced as possible. That means you want to try to get the same number of people betting on each possible outcome.

With balanced books, the wagers from the losing players will cover the payouts to the winners and you’ll get to keep your vig.

Having Terrible Players

When you have more players betting on a losing outcome than a winning one, that’s when you’ll make the most money as a bookie. Fortunately for you, most gamblers lose more money than they win which means you’ll always win in the end.

Want to Become a Bookie?

Now you know the answer to the question, “How much do bookies make?” As you can see, there are a few factors that determine your earnings and the best way to maximize them is to use a managed sportsbook.

If you want to start a side hustle as a bookie, start your six-week free trial today. You’ll get the chance to try out software and start making money so you can see what a great opportunity this is.

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