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Sportsbook: How It Works and Makes Money

Sportsbook: How It Works and Makes Money
Date: October 4, 2023 / Author: Dgenlord Segismundo

Sportsbook: How It Works and Makes Money


A sportsbook is the go-to place, whether in-person or online, for gamblers looking to bet on a wide range of sports competitions such as football betting, golf betting, basketball betting, baseball betting, horse race betting, boxing betting, and mixed martial arts betting. Here’s a closer look at how a sportsbook operates



  1. Placing Bets

Sports betting involves wagering on a specific sporting event, then you win a predetermined amount of money if the team or player you bet on emerges victorious. If your chosen team or player loses, you lose your bet.

There are various types of bets available, and you have numerous options for where and how to place your bets.


  1. Worldwide Betting

Sports betting is a popular pastime worldwide, with millions of people participating annually in countries like the Philippines.

The Philippines, for example, has seen constant growth in sports betting, with numerous sportsbooks catering to a variety of sports.


  1. Understanding Sports Betting Jargons

To navigate the world of sports betting, it’s crucial to understand the associated terminology:

Action: Refers to betting activity.

Handicap: Giving one team a point advantage to level the playing field.

Handle: The total amount of money wagered on bets.

Sportsbook: An establishment that accepts bets, often run by a bookie.

Juice: The bookmaker’s profit percentage, also known as vigorish (vig).

The Spread: Used in high-scoring sports like football or basketball, it gives one team a point advantage.

Money Line: Used in sports with lower scoring, like baseball.

Pick’em: When teams are considered equal, often with odds of -1.10 on both teams.

Parlays: Combining multiple bets into one for higher payouts.


  1. How Sportsbook Profit

Sportsbooks primarily make money through a fee known as the vig or juice.

The vig is built into money line bets and is represented by the difference in the lines. For instance, if the favorite has odds of -200 and the underdog is at +180, the book profits from the difference.

Common vig examples include betting 110 to win 100 and betting 105 to win 100.

Sportsbooks aim to balance bets on both sides of a contest, ensuring they profit regardless of the outcome.


  1. Balancing Bets

To illustrate, if ₱11,000 is bet on Team A to win ₱10,000 and ₱11,000 is bet on Team B to win ₱10,000, the book pays out ₱11,000 to the winning side and keeps a profit of ₱1,000.

Sportsbooks may not always receive equal bets on both sides, but they aim to balance their exposure over numerous games.


  1. Line Adjustment

Sportsbooks adjust the betting line when they receive an imbalance of bets on one side of a game.

Moving the line encourages more bets on the less-favored side while discouraging additional bets on the heavily favored side.


  1. Where to Place Bets

You can place bets in several ways:

Land-Based Sportsbooks: Available in many parts of the world, sometimes in casinos or standalone businesses.

Online Betting Sites: Accessible wherever there’s an internet connection, though legality varies by location.

Bookies: Local individuals who accept bets.

Informal Betting: Placing bets with acquaintances.


What’s Next?

It’s essential to be aware of sports betting laws in your area before participating in sports betting.

Understanding how a sportsbook operates, how it profits, and where to place bets is essential for any sports bettor. Be sure to stay informed about local regulations to enjoy a responsible betting experience.

Also read: Badminton Betting in the Philippines : A Rising Industry