A bookmaker


Bookmakers (also often called ‘bookies’, or ‘turf accountants’) take bets on sports games and other events at agreed upon odds, they calculate odds and pay out winnings. They are responsible for the risk management.

Bookmakers typically do the following:

  • recruit, train and supervise staff
  • greet customers and promote products to them
  • take bets and pay out winnings
  • deal with complaints
  • set sales targets
  • control costs and balance accounts
  • organise staff rotas
  • look after the security of staff, customers and money
  • follow gambling laws

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to bookmaker:

on course bookmaker
bookmaker clerk
senior bookmaker
turf accountant
off-course bookmaker
off course bookmaker
stadium bookmaker
sports bookmaker
head bookmaker
on-course bookmaker
betting clerk
race course bookmaker
bookmaker manager

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or equivalent is generally the minimum required to work as a bookmaker.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Bookmaker is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Bookmaker career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to bookmaker.

bingo caller
tote operator
casino cashier
lottery cashier

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of bookmaker. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of bookmaker with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

rooms division manager
gambling manager
betting manager
air pollution analyst
mine surveying technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of bookmaker.

  • Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
  • Sports competition information: The information regarding latest results, competitions and events in the sporting industry.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of bookmaker.

  • Communicate house rules: Inform about the applicable rules and guidelines in force such as betting ceilings.
  • Display betting information: Answer betting queries and put betting information on display.
  • Handle customer complaints: Administer complaints and negative feedback from customers in order to address concerns and where applicable provide a quick service recovery.
  • Manage cash flow: Take bets, pay out winnings and manage the cash flow.
  • Keep task records: Organise and classify records of prepared reports and correspondence related to the performed work and progress records of tasks.
  • Follow ethical code of conduct of gambling: Follow the rules and ethical code used in gambling, betting and lottery. Keep the entertainment of players in mind.
  • Manage work: Supervise, instruct and plan work for teams or individual members of the team. Set up time schedules and make sure they are followed.
  • Assist customers: Provide support and advice to customers in making purchasing decisions by finding out their needs, selecting suitable service and products for them and politely answering questions about products and services.
  • Maintain customer service: Keep the highest possible customer service and make sure that the customer service is at all times performed in a professional way. Help customers or participants feel at ease and support special requirements.
  • Carry out end of day accounts: Execute end of day accounts to ensure that business transactions from the current day have been correctly processed.
  • Maximise sales revenues: Increase possible sales volumes and avoid losses through cross-selling, upselling or promotion of additional services.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of bookmaker. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Remove cheating players: Detect and expel suspected cheating players
  • Apply statistical analysis techniques: Use models (descriptive or inferential statistics) and techniques (data mining or machine learning) for statistical analysis and ICT tools to analyse data, uncover correlations and forecast trends.
  • Work out odds: Make informed decisions to work out the odds for sports and races.
  • Schedule shifts: Plan staff time and shifts to reflect the demands of the business.
  • Train employees: Lead and guide employees through a process in which they are taught the necessary skills for the perspective job. Organise activities aimed at introducing the work and systems or improving the performance of individuals and groups in organisational settings.

ISCO group and title

4212 – Bookmakers, croupiers and related gaming workers

  1. Bookmaker – ESCO
  2. Bookmaker | Explore careers – National Careers Service
  3. Featured image: By Alan Stanton – Paddy Power Bookmaker Uploaded by Oxyman, CC BY-SA 2.0
Last updated on December 12, 2022

What do you want to do with this job?

You will be brought to the forum page

Requires a business account

Requires a business account