There are lots of different types of sports bettors, but bettors essentially fall into two categories, a professional (sharp) or casual (square). It’s important to understand these two types of bettors.
As a bookie owner, you need to be cautious when dealing with sharp bettors.
If you’ve been around the online betting industry for some time, you’ve likely heard bettors discuss being limited/restricted or outright banned from wagering at certain online sportsbooks.
A lot of sportsbooks will restrict or outright ban sharp bettors. Square books are quick to react to any sharps that are identified by the bookie’s algorithms, while other books will accept the action.
As a small bookie owner you can’t afford taking sharp action generally. The main reason is because sharps will often get the best line and beat the closing line.
Sharps are also long-term consistent winners. They’ll lose a good percentage of their bets, but they often get the best odds and they’re quick to hit +EV lines with max bets.
Professional gamblers will often bet the most they can into lines. This is why it’s important to have strict betting limits on every market so you don’t have too much exposure.
If you notice a sharp bettor is beating the closing line on every bet they make at your book and they’re making max limit bets, then you need to start watching their action a lot more closely.
Don’t be afraid to limit or completely restrict sharps bettors from getting action. Your goal as a bookie owner is to target recreational bettors, as they lose consistently and you’ll make more money.
Why You Want to Target Casual Gamblers as a Bookie Owner
Sharps are expected to win over the long-term, while casual gamblers aren’t. The majority of bettors are recreational, so you’re not limiting your marketing potential by avoiding sharps.
- Focus on Major Sports/Events: A lot of casual gamblers will bet what’s on TV. They want to watch a game and have action on it, regardless of whether they win or lose. It’s also a lot easier to balance your book when your players are betting on major sports/events.
- They Don’t Hunt for Value: Sharps will only bet into +EV lines whereas a casual gambler is going to bet on the games/teams they want regardless of the odds.
- They Lose: More often than not, casual gamblers will run through their bankroll and have to redeposit on a regular basis. They have no sense of bankroll management and gamble for entertainment. The majority of casual gamblers lose over the long-term. You may payout some short term win streaks, but over the long run you’ll make lots of money.
As a bookie owner it should be easy to see why you would want recreational bettors. With that being said, don’t be too quick to restrict/ban players. Anyone can go on a winning streak and look like a professional gambler, but what you should look for is whether or not they’re beating the closing line.
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