Ask the Bookmaker – What is a Customer?

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It is a common question at most bookmakers how do I identify who the customers are during a sports event like the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NFL or even the Major League Soccer?

The main answer to this comes from the question of who is the bookmaker, or the person offering the odds. When dealing in the business of betting on sporting events the bookmaker is the person who will be paid for the wins and losses of the bets placed on a specific sporting event. In the vast majority of cases these are handled by a group of staff in a country that operates under a legal advertisement in the country which licenses them. Information regarding the licensing process can be found in the disclaimer below.

All information regarding the licensing process and the management of the bookmaker is made available to the public on the bookmaker’s website. The public can also view the betting areas of the website for each sport. This will give them a bird’s eye view of all the activity. Previews of each event are available also to the public which should help them to make a decision on which event they want to bet on.

The bets can be placed either online at the site or by phone. The online betting is generally called on the internet as it enables the bettor to have a website to easily place the bet on. This form of betting is generally called sports betting or sports betting as some prefer to call it. The odds are on the other end of the scale and are given in decimal form.

The odds are almost always posted in customary format (e.g. 3.10, 2.50, etc), they are also available in several different languages, and their internationalization is quite impressive. They are estimated to comprise about 70% of the total betting activity on any sport event. The other 30% or so percent of all betting activity is done through the telephone.

The purpose of this betting activity is simple, to win money! Placing a bet on any given sport event will allow the bettor to bet on his/her favourite team or to bet on the opposition, nevertheless, the odds are always on the home team to win, or the favourite to lose, this is the simple act of betting.

Placing a bet and winning money!

Placing a bet on any given sport event will win some money for you, the question is how much. The odds are importantly set to show the punter some return on his investment (backing). How much return can you expect to make from your investment?

Your betting returns are normally related to the odds across the board, a few bets and odds that are improved, which produces a higher return for the bettor, hence the term profit margin (very important to remember!).

profit margin percentage

The profit margin percentage, as the name suggests, is the profit gained from the bookmaker’s pocket. Some people believe that it is possible to make a living from betting, but the discipline is tough and there would have to be a large amount of profit aside from what you place on the bets.

The bookmakers will therefore often adjust the odds to reflect their estimated profits. Before You Place Your Bet, check the odds offered by the different bookmakers, as some bookmakers offer better odds than others and this may affect the possible return on your investment.

The exact formula for calculating the profit margin is:

  1. Average Loss / (Win + Loss + Bet Cost)

but, an actual figure for you to use is:

  1. Loss / (Win + Loss + Bet Cost) – 1

You will see why the profit margin can be calculated against the Back bet where the bet is placed, but, the calculation for the other three types of bet is much more complex – you will need to use an actual figure representing the commission in the margin.

So, if you had a supposed scenario where you needed to place a bet to make a £10 profit, what your experience would show you is that you need to place the bet at an online bookmaker with the best odds for you to achieve the £10 profit.

The actual figures on the spread bet may show some differences with the example above, for example, you might find a situation where the bet at one bookmaker is the favourite to win, at another you might find that the horse is not expected to be beaten, so the case might not be that you need to back the favourite to win at the bookmaker with the best odds, but that you can bet on the odds being wrong.

First, find the betting marketplace with the best odds that satisfy your own betting model, not just the odds that the bookmaker offers. That might sound obvious, but many amateurs have a narrow railway of where to think and how to think.