What Is a Bookmaker?
A bookmaker, or sports handicapper is a person or an entity that takes bets on sporting events and calculates the chances of a winning bet. The bookmaker is not necessarily associated with one particular betting organization such as the bookmakers for football, basketball, baseball, etc. A bookmaker is usually an independent individual whose decisions are based on his or her experience and research as well as subjectivity. The bookmakers earn their money either by taking a commission or by getting a percent of the total winnings. It is not uncommon for bookmakers to be multi-millionaire although they generally prefer not to publicly reveal their exact earnings because of the risks involved in gambling.
A bookmaker’s odds reflect the chances of each bettor winning his or her bet. Most bookmakers provide odds which are expressed as a percentage in terms of the odds of each event while some may provide odds which are expressed as a specific ratio in terms of the odds of each bet to the total amount wagered. In football, the most typical type of betting exchange is the Betfair Exchange where bookmakers usually compete for the rights to represent football events. In basketball, the most common type of betting exchange is the Betdaq Exchange where most of the major stock exchanges and sports organizations trade.
The bookmaker has an obligation to provide acceptable odds for each bettor. This obligation of the bookmaker is generally enforced by the laws of chance. Bookmakers have to charge reasonable fees and commissions to bettors, take care of the financial aspects of the bet, and deliver the results of the bet promptly. They have to protect their interests and the interests of bettors to avoid conflict of interest. They also have to disclose the odds of each game they represent to the bettors. Lastly, bookmakers have to publish the results of each game every five days.