Monday, April 29, 2013


So you would like to start your own Sports Book. That can be hard unless you live in Nevada, Atlantic City or on a Reservation.  Plus, you will need millions to get it started. The good news is you can still start your own Book, and it is being done everyday all over the country.   

The best advice I can give you regarding gambling is never gamble. Its a sucker's play, the house always wins. You may have a good run, but it will grind you down.  The best Bookies never play EVER.
What action will you take?  The old Mafia Bookies took bets on Horses.  Today unless they are huge races, don't waste your time. There are four races: the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, the Preakness and the Breeder’s Cup. Those you can take action on, but use track odds and you will also take in some smaller bets but it will be easy and it pays. In New York they had the OTB (Off Track Betting) and somehow they lost money!  It is kind of like the Lottery.  For years Organized Crime made a ton of cash in the Numbers games.  Now that states run them, they cost millions and they do not give as much to schools as they say.

In America, Football is king.  That goes for NFL and College games. Then there is Baseball. I love to take action on Baseball because the game is slow and I enjoy it.  A lot of Bookies close up shop for Baseball season. Hockey is a game not many people bet on in Los Angeles, but hey, why not, and if you live in a cold climate take the action.  Boxing is another sport that has few bettors unless it is a big pay-per-view fight.  Where you live will determine how much boxing action you should take.  The new fast growing sport of MMA is great for bookies.  It is fast paced and there is a clear winner.  You can take action on many aspects not just a knock out, but a Submission a kick etc...Then you also have Golf, Soccer and Nascar.  

What types of Bets?

The Straight Bet- The most basic of bets.  Lets say it is the Los Angeles Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs. Who cares who wins the game.  If I bet a straight bet, I only care who covers. The Lakers score 102 and The Spurs score 98.  Whoever took the Spurs wins! The Lakers did not cover the spread! The Lakers need to score 103 to win by 4.5 points. Some of your bettors may want to buy for 10 dollars on every 100 on top of the vig.  This would have paid off in this case.
  • San Antonio -4.5 -110
  • LA Lakers +4.5 -110
Moneyline- This means you just bet the team that wins.  It is simple but it does not pay off well.
  • San Antonio   -190
  • LA Lakers   +160
Over/Under- This is very simple. It is the total scores combined.  
  • Over +187.5 -110
  • Under
Parlays- This means the player will bet multiple games and teams and all his picks must win.  It pays off big but it is difficult to win.  It will make you money.
Teasers are great because again the player has to win both games he plays and pay juice!
Exotics-These are bets like who wins the coin toss, first round knock out etc.  

There are many more types of bets. Things to remember regardless of what action you decide to take: the gambler will always lose.  The edge is always with the house.  If a player is on a roll and wins 50k in a week, pay him. My rule as a bookie was always pay, no matter what.  When I give him that payout, I will put anything on it I would soon earn it right back, plus double, because he will keep chasing that big win.

I liked to settle up on Tuesdays.  I was taught that way, so I did it.  Most action was taken over the weekends. If someone lost, he will want to recoup some of his lost money, hence Monday Night Football is so popular!

I would only have my guys meet players if we were owed a thousand or more or if we owed it.  Some smaller books have different numbers, those were mine.

Today gambling has changed so much. There is no need to get a bunch of hardlines or a telephone system for a room.  You can get an 800 number for cheap and have it forwarded to a cell phone and then roll over to another.  A lot of guys use Offshore rooms, I did use those but sometimes the people working were hard to understand and were not that good.  

Getting set up Online combined with local Agents is the best for what I needed. I had a site and I had other bookies as Agents they would get their clients to post (deposit)  Then I would credit their account or they would tell me what to credit their clients. That way the could go online and bet whenever they wished.  If they lost or won they would meet their guy on settlement day and collect.  It is the same as a regular local bookie only now they have an option.  Plus with the service they can see the lines for all the games.  You used to have to call and ask what the line was at the time.  The papers print it but it may change.

Book Making is easy and it makes huge money.  You just have to balance your books and you will never lose because you get the vig no matter who wins, that is the fee you take for the bet.  If you are a Bookie it is up to you to look over your players.  If you have a guy who is a waiter and is married to a waitress you cannot allow him to bet more than a hundred or so.  If he gets in over his head its lost.  If a guy owns a couple of used car lots he can bet up to 10k because he can pay.  If someone gets in over their head, cut their debt and get a payment.  It is stupid to threaten players for a debt. Its all "Air" money anyway.  In other words you are not out any product.  If you sell cocaine, you bought it so you are out that money.  If you front it and do not get paid then you are out real hard money.  So if a player does not pay just write it off.  I used to just say oh well now you cannot bet with us or anyone I know.  The business is real small and if you let people know a player is a deadbeat it works!  A Gambler that cannot gamble is lost.  Gambling is a great business and it supplies the cash for so many things.  It also goes hand in hand with my other former favorite way to make money, Shylocking or Loan Sharking.  The funny thing is, even today I see these payday loan places and they charge the same rates! Usary!  More on this another time.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing this up. I enjoy a lot of pieces on your blog, but I especially like the parts about the business side of the mob. I am looking forward to hearing more about loan sharking!