Sports Betting

What is a Bookmaker (Land-Based and Online Bookie)

We hope you are sitting down, because you will figure out what is a bookmaker in this article. Whether in golf, tennis, football, or even horse betting, you meet bookmakers (or called bookies) on online casino sites or in a land-based casino. 

Therefore, if you are a big fan of sports betting, or a beginner who expects to place a bet in sports, keep reading below because Garuda Casino will guide you into better gambling!

Bookmaker Meaning

Understanding What is a Bookmaker

For those of you who are wondering what is a bookmaker, it is a term to describe someone who facilitates gambling, most commonly on sport betting. A bookie will set odds, accepts and places bets, and pays out the winning on behalf of other people. 

The bookmakers don’t commonly make their money by placing bets themselves, rather they will charge a transaction fee on their customer’s bets which is known as the “vigorish” or in short “vig”. Moreover, the bookies might also lend money to the bettors. They can be an individual or an organization. 

Even though the term “bookmaker” has been associated with illegal activity, with the expansion of sports betting, being a bookie has become a legitimate occupation.

However, placing bets through them is still illegal. The legality of different gambling types is widely determined by the state governments.

Land-Based Casino vs Online Bookmakers

After knowing what is a bookmaker, we can imagine two shops side by side, one is a traditional land-based casino and the other is an online bookie.

The former shows a classic ambience with its wooden shelves full of books, dimly lit interiors, and a stale smell that will make you feel like you are stepping back in time. 

Meanwhile, the latter looks sleek and modern with a bright screen showing odds and a bustling atmosphere filled with people eagerly tapping on their devices. Each has its advantages, however, which is better for bettors?

Land-Based Casino Bookmakers

As you already know what is a bookmaker, the bookies have been around for centuries and offer several advantages that online bookies can’t do.

First of all, they offer bettors with a real experience where they can browse through odds sheets, chat with the experienced staff, and even watch live events on TV. 

Next, physical bookies are great for making trust as bettors can see who they are dealing with face to face. Lastly, land-based bookmakers will offer cash payments that many bettors prefer over digital payments. 


  • Real experience
  • Trust-building
  • Cash payment method

Online Bookmakers

Moreover, the explanation of what is a bookmaker also comes to online bookies and with their set of advantages. Firstly, they offer unparalleled convenience since the bettors are allowed to place bets from anywhere at any time using their devices (PC, laptop, or smartphone). 

In addition, online bookmakers often offer more betting options than their land-based casino counterparts and commonly give out bonuses to attract new players.

Lastly, most online sports betting Malaysia have sophisticated algorithms that will process big amounts of data to set accurate odds quickly. 


  • Convenience
  • Offer more betting options
  • Offer bonuses
  • Accurate odds
  • Quick processing

How Do Bookmakers Make Money?

As you know what is a bookmaker, they will make money by charging a fee on each bet they will take, or it is known as the “vig”. Then, they will pay out money when bettors win a bet. 

Their main goal is to make sure that incomings exceed outgoings. That is typically achieved by adjusting the odds, so that there is an even amount of people betting on a win or loss. 

Is Being a Bookmaker Safe?

From the explanation of what is a bookmaker, you must be also wondering if it is safe being a bookie. In Hollywood, bookies are frequently portrayed as frauds seeking to earn quick money or as slimeballs. However, as you say the sheer number of people engaging in online casinos, this simply is not true. 

Nowadays, being a bookmaker is not only possible, but also profitable for anyone who is willing to take the time to grow a client base. The main factor to growing a successful venture is to begin a niche, perhaps just one sport event that you are familiar with. 

Since there are lots of options online for gambling, you have to build your reputation as being reputable, easy to place bets, and above all, quick on your withdrawals. If you are not managing people’s money, your most devoted bettors will probably bet frequently, and other people will draw them in. 

Gambling is a big business, however, since a lot of money is being exchanged of what is a bookmaker, it can be intense. That is not to say it is not safe if you take the necessary precautions and make it like a business. 

Does Using a Bookmaker Include Any Risks?

There are some risks involved of what is a bookmaker, including legal implications and addiction concerns. When placing bets with a bookie, it is crucial to figure out the laws in your jurisdiction to prevent any potential legal consequences. 

Furthermore, if gambling is not controlled responsibly, it can become addictive and result in financial problems. It is important to set your limits on your betting and seek help when you feel like you might be developing a problem.

Bookies also have their own rules and policies that bettors must abide by. Then, it is important to read and figure out before placing any bets. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the meaning of what is a bookmaker, they are facilitators of gambling activities, especially in sport events. They have been part of the gambling market for centuries.

While bookies might have limits on how much they can pay out, they will still offer competitive odds and a wide range of options that offer different preferences. 

However, it is important to remember that using a bookie does come with risks like the possibility of losing money, or encountering disputes with them. As such, it is important to approach bookmaking responsibly and to seek help if you need it.


Garuda Casino is the Malaysian independent online gaming authority, providing trusted online casino news, guides, reviews and information.

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