What is a Punter?
In gambling terminology, a ‘punter‘ is simply someone who gambles. The term is most common in British and Australian gambling circles, most usually in horse racing and other forms of sports betting. To ‘take a punt’ is to place a wager and the ‘punter’ is the person making the bet. A ‘punter’ is also a customer or a patron of a service, such as a casino and the term is often intended to refer to the visitors to a casino establishment.
The term ‘punter’ actually came from a French word which means ‘to put up a bet’ or to ‘play against the bank’. The slang term is usually taken as a synonym for ‘gambler’ or ‘bettor’. It turns up in investment jargon to describe people taking a gamble or making a risk in their trade. For gamblers, a ‘punter’ is most usually a customer of a bookmaker’s establishment or sports betting website. Punters make bets on their favourite sports teams, in the hope of winning money against the writer of the book. ‘Punter’ might refer to a skilled and experienced gambler, but it usually just means any individual who has made a bet. Bookmakers hope to attract a large number of punters to their bets, while balancing them on each side and ensuring they can make a profit from all bets placed.
A ‘punter’ is one who makes a wager and the bet itself can be called a ‘punt’. In the UK, casinos might refer to their customers as the ‘punters’ – the people who make bets. The term often appears in bookmaker’s marketing campaigns, referring to the bettors, and many sports betting companies refer to the ‘punters’ even in their on-site marketing materials. It is less frequently heard outside of Britain and Australia, although it might also be heard in some US casinos.