Sports Betting or Bookmaking: Who Really Wins?

February 6th, 2013 By: Ron
  
Posted in:  Football, Sports, News

sports book command centralSports betting in Las Vegas is a multi-billion dollar business, and the director of the Center for Gaming Research at UNLV, David Schwartz said that, up to this point, the notion that bookmakers enjoy the majority of earnings from sports betting is misinformed. Schwartz provides solid evidence backing this claim and he makes it hard for anyone else to suggest otherwise after seeing this kind of eye-opening disparity in earnings.

If you think that the sports books make most of the money, you may be surprised to know that, of the $2.8 billion wagered in 2011 on sporting events, approximately just $140 million went to the books. This indicates that professional sports betting is a thriving industry primarily for those placing the bets.

If you’re looking for a more staggering figure to illustrate this point, we’ve got one, courtesy of Schwartz. He reveals that almost $60 billion dollars have been wagered since the early 80’s and that just little over $2 billion of that amount has gone to the sports books.

While the ratio may not look favorable for bookmaking, there is still a strong potential for earnings. Joe Asher, formerly the owner of Brandywine Bookmaking received a deal from William Hill to acquire his business for a cool $15 million (now williamhill.us). Clearly, Asher stood to benefit greatly from this deal and larger acquiring firms such as William Hill would not be making such offers if there were not a strong potential for positive returns on their investment. Asher has stayed on with the acquiring firm as CEO of William Hill’s U.S. branch in Las Vegas.

Now, a huge shift is taking place as bookmakers are trying to become more relevant in today’s increasingly mobile-dependent world. Making their services available on smartphones and mobile devices has cost William Hill over $10 million thus far and this could very well be only the beginning of a strong push for mobile sports betting services by bookmakers the world over.

It’s still not clear how this will effect the earnings potential for bookmakers, however logic would dictate that making sports betting services more easily accessible by the millions upon millions of customers currently relying on their mobile devices for internet access will surely boost profits.