4 Different Types Of Bookmakers

May 16, 2017 5 min to read

Throughout the past century, all industries that we use today have completely changed in its daily methods and processes in conducting their services.

Sports betting is no different, with it initially starting out simply as betting booths which punters will approach to place their bets. This had a number of limiting factors for punters, not allowing themselves to place their bets at complete comfort.

Punters were forced to accept the offers they were given and had to give in to the bookmakers demands. They were also limited to their geographic position, using bookmakers only in their resident area.

Today, this has all changed. Not only the number of bookmakers now are limitless to punters who are now spoilt for choice. This is has been driven by the progress of technology of the past two decades.

The number of bookmakers is beyond whatever the punter would ever need, today there are multiple different types of bookmakers.

The purpose of this article is to showcase the 4 different types of bookmakers currently available to sports punters in today’s environment.

All types of bookmakers serve the same purpose but the different mediums offer their own unique advantages over each other.

Let's see our options.

Different Types Of Bookmakers

Retail Booths

Booths were the first form of bookmakers, back when sports betting had just started. These booths would consist of a bookie who would offer customers their markets and odds on upcoming sporting events.

This is the most convenient way of placing sports bets and is most popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland where this form of bookmaker has not decreased in popularity, unlike most countries.

May reason for this is that British retail booths have a fun atmosphere which creates an enjoyable experience for punters.

In the U.K, there are over 2000 retail booths of William Hill alone. As you can see, the betting booths scene is lively as ever.

The main advantage of using this option is that it operates in cash alone, therefore many punters get away without any reason to declare and no record on their statement that they gamble.

The method which bettors pick up their winnings is via exchange for their bet-slip for cash.

The disadvantage is that most features such as in-play betting and promotional offers are only offered through online bookmakers, not betting booths.

Racecourse Booths

This is very similar to the retail betting booths, and also has been around since the beginning of sports betting. At the racecourse of both horses and greyhounds, there would be multiple bookmakers.

These bookmakers will all be working independently. The main difference in how they operate is that unlike retail booths, these punters would not be based on a specific location and rather move around from venue to venue.

A negative that these bookmakers have when compared to retail booths is that tend to charge a fixed fee on all bets placed on them. This fee fluctuates per bookmaker.

Same disadvantage as the retail booths, many offers and features are only offered on online bookmakers.

A positive is that these bookmakers are portable and will be at all major events at your convenience. They also share with retail booths is the advantage that all bets are placed in cash.

Telephone Betting

Although the popularity of this platform has decreased in recent years, this bookmaker type is still offered by all of the major bookmakers.

Strangely enough, telephone betting is still hugely popular with it being the second most common method used by punters out of these four.

The main attraction of using this particular form of is its simplicity. The process is as straightforward as it can possibly be

You contact the bookmaker you wish to place your bets through, specify the details of the bet you wish to place, the operator will get back to you confirming your bet.

Finally, you tell them the details of your credit/debit card and your bet is placed.

The disadvantage of using this type of bookmaker is that you have to know your bet prior to calling as it is not possible to see what offers are available through a telephone.

Online Bookmakers

This is the most popular form of bookmaker, and it has revolutionised the way punters place their bets from all sports around the world.

The introduction of the internet has brought an accessibility to the sports betting industry that was inconceivable before the introduction of the internet.

Now, customers have an endless range of options for the comfort of their fingertips through their mobile devices.

This is then combined with the fact that online services offer much more markets, promotions and better odds.

There is no clear disadvantage of using this platform rather than that it leaves a track record on your bank statement.

There are two different platforms offered by online bookmakers, the traditional sports-book and betting exchange. For those of you who do not know how the betting exchange works, we previously wrote an article explaining the platform.

slots online parlorFinal Words

These are the 4 different types of bookmakers currently offered in the sports betting industry today.

Each different type of bookmaker has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it is now up to you as a punter to see which methods suits your betting strategy best.

Always remember to gamble responsibly, all these options may be overwhelming for some so please take the necessary precautions to make sure your activity is reasonable.

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Adam is long time Manchester United fan but admits that he has a few international favourite teams which he looks forward to watching and betting on for international events like the World Cup


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