What is a Bookie?
A bookie (an abbreviation of bookmaker) is a business or person that takes bets on various events, predominantly sporting, at pre-arranged odds. If a person wins the bet with odds at 5-1 at the time (they may increase or decrease before and after a bet is made), the bookie will then pay the person 5 times the amount of money based on the pre-arranged 5-1 odds.
The Bookie Explained
Also known as a turf accountant, many bookies are part of IBAS (Independent Betting Adjudication Service); bookies can operate both legally and illegally, although the profession is often regulated thoroughly. A bookie will make money by adjusting the odds in their favor or by organizing a point spread or spread bet (a way of trading on the price changes of financial markets including currencies, shares, commodities and more – but a bookie will generally keep things in their chosen field).
The traditional bet was always made with a bookie in person or over the telephone whether it be in a shop or down at the event itself. That has all changed drastically with the introduction of the Internet with people using online bookies or apps to place their bets. Since gambling became legal online, a lot of bookies now have an online brand by purchasing ‘white label’ websites from larger firms. This generally allows bookies to take bets online from countries where gambling is legal and from those over the legal gambling age of 18. This being the case, the old-style bookies in shops or events have tended to suffer as the online bookies generally offer better odds due to their lower overheads and arbitrage, which is taking advantage of the price differential between two or more markets. A lot of online bookies will offer special offers to new customers to entice them to open accounts such as matching their first deposit. If a customer deposits £30 into their account, the online bookie will add £30 to their account to be used on future bets. This makes it a lot more appealing to use an online bookie.