The Four Types of Bookmakers That Offer Sports Betting

Tue, Mar 16, 2021
by CapperTek

Big data cloud technology has made its way to the sportsbook industry. While some still believe bookies live in the shadows, munch on cigars, and break a bone if you don't pay, most realize that the sportsbook industry is legit.

Sports betting technology has gotten to the point where the distinction between bookie and sportsbook no longer exists. It never did when you think about it.

Bookies and sportsbooks do the same thing. We called bookmakers "bookies" because they were individual people while a sportsbook housed many bookies.

Because everything is now online, there is no difference. Whether one person runs a small sportsbook or a corporation runs a giant sportsbook, players see the same thing.

In 2021, four types of sportsbooks exist. Read further to discover what those four are.

Type #1 – Brick and Mortar Sportsbook

There will always be physical sportsbooks. Giant Vegas hotels will still offer casino and sports betting.

If you're in a place like Las Vegas, why not bet in the hotel's sportsbook? But if you're not in a place like Sin City, is there a point?

You may as well wager through an online sportsbook or via your local bookie. Then, you can watch the game in the comfort of your own home.

Type #2 – Online Sportsbook

Online sportsbooks offer many advantages books located in physical buildings can't. One of those is live betting platforms.

If you believed James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets were going to rally against the Phoenix Suns in a February game, you could have accessed an online sportsbook and bet on the rally.

Sportsbooks that exist on the Internet also provide betting options on casino and racebook platforms.

Are you interested in betting on blackjack? Access the digital casino. Want to wager on the fifth race at Churchill Downs on a Thursday? Access the racebook.

The one thing that most large online sportsbooks, and we’re talking big organizations, lack is flexibility. Most online sportsbooks have turned oddsmaking into another way to make money from their players.

Larger books change odds depending on your betting history. If you are a Kansas City expert and make money every time KC plays, your online sportsbook will either insist you risk more on Kansas City games or offer worse odds than the odds they provide other players.

Type #3 – Pay Per Head Agent

Almost every local bookie is a pay per head agent. We separate the types of bookmaking because not all local bookies use PPH sportsbook software to grow their businesses.

Bookies pay price per head companies a weekly fee for each customer. In most cases, if the player doesn’t bet that week, the bookmaker doesn’t owe the per head company money.

Not all PPH organizations are the same. The oldest, PayPerHead, which started offering software back in 1997, provides the only way for agents and their players to make online deposits.

The ability to collect and pay online is the thing that separates the most successful bookies from their peers. If you ask the question, how much do bookies make? You’re bound to get two different answers.

Bookies who must still pay and collect in-person make X amount. Bookies that use software that allows for online deposits and collections make more.

Players can also call bookie agents looking for better odds, something online sportsbooks won't do. Flexibility is the agent's most powerful money-making tool.

After reading about the four types of sportsbook operators, ranking them is easy. Pay per head agents are first. Local bookies are second, and online sportsbooks come in a distant third.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out Caesar’s Palace’s sportsbook if you’re in Las Vegas. That's to say that if you're a sports bettor, you should look for an agent who provides a way for you to make online deposits into your betting account.


Type #4 – Local Bookie

Remember that 2003 movie Bookies? The film made no sense. It ends when the local mob bookies put a man in a trunk of a car and start a chainsaw.

Local bookies have never operated like that. If they break a bone, you can’t work. If you can’t work, you can’t pay.

Also, local bookies don't work in territories. They work with individuals whom they know and talk to daily. Local bookies find clients through word of mouth.

Luckily, we must never suffer through another disaster of a movie like Bookies. Today, anyone with a computer and wi-fi access can log onto their online sportsbook accounts and make a bet.

Local bookies have also changed. Most use sportsbook software to run their companies. Bookie software allows local bookies to create player accounts.

Most local bookies use pay per head software. Some books continue to run their businesses on excel spreadsheets, but most have turned to software. 

There is a drawback to working with many local bookies. Players must meet with some to fund their accounts and, or make payments.