The Bookie, from Jeff Watson

April 18, 2010 |

 Spending a little time in the "Sports Brokerage" industry in my youth, I learned to appreciate the services the bookie provides. He acts like a clearing firm, inserting himself between the trades. He acts like a market maker, pushing the line this way and that in order to keep the order flow even and balanced, yet at a level where it will see maximum trading. He assumes market risk between trades, and has to hold one side before he gets an order on the other side, or has to lay it off. He ensures that you will get paid and assumes the risk that he won't get paid on every bet. A bookie will sometimes provide credit, much like a brokerage firm will. For the amount of vig you pay a bookie, the whole transaction is risk reducing and value adding to you. His reputation depends on an image of fairness and not welshing and it is much safer getting large action down with a bookie than with an acquaintance. With an established bookie, you know you'll get paid on Tuesday or pay on Tuesday depending on the time of year and schedule you establish for the P&C.

Vince Fulco writes:

Said bookie could neither take up a forced collection in the neighborhood to then re-establish his operations nor make intentionally lame or kill a horse he was taking action on without repercussions. Perhaps we're just seeing the pendulum begin its swing hard in the opposite direction.


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