Bookmaker Careers

How to become a Bookmaker

What does a Bookmaker do?

Off-course bookmakers, or betting shop managers, run licensed betting offices. They manage and coordinate all betting shop activities.

Betting shop managers are responsible for developing a team of cashiers and may take on cashier duties during busy periods. Other tasks include producing profit and loss reports, staff planning and attending meetings.

On-course bookmakers, or turf accountants, work in betting shops on location, usually at horse or dog racing tracks. They are often family businesses and employ a small number of staff.

What's the working environment like working as a Bookmaker?

On-course and off-course betting shops are open seven days a week, and winter hours are approximately 10am to 6pm. From April to August they stay open later in the evening until the results of the last race at about 9.30pm. Bookmakers may need to start early and finish late at times. Weekend working is often a requirement. Part-time work may be possible.

What does it take to become a Bookmaker?

To be a bookmaker you should:

  • have good communication, negotiation and customer service skills
  • be able to manage a team of staff
  • be able to understand betting regulations
  • be security conscious
  • be numerate and able to make calculations quickly
  • be well organised and have good administration skills
  • have basic keyboard and computer skills
  • be trustworthy and honest
  • have some knowledge of sporting events.

Bookmaker Career Opportunities

Although numbers have decreased there are still many race courses with on-site betting and more than 8,000 betting shops spread across the country.

With the right expertise and financial backing, you could become a self-employed bookmaker - as long as you comply with all the legal requirements. See the Association of British Bookmakers website, listed in Further Information, for more details about this.

There may be opportunities for promotion in the larger organisations, managing shops with larger turnover, for instance. Further opportunities exist in regional and district management, with responsibility for a number of shops.

Posts are often advertised in local press or the Racing Post (see Further Information). You could also contact local betting shops and chains directly to discuss opportunities.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Bookmaker that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Association of British Bookmakers (ABB)
Regency House
1-4 Warwick Street
Tel: 020 7434 2111

Racing Post
1 Canada Square
E14 5AP

National Association of Bookmakers (NAB)
PO Box 242
East Molesey
Tel: 01884 841859

People 1st
2nd Floor
Armstrong House
38 Market Square
Tel: 0870 060 2550

Facts and Stats:

  • Napoleon Bonaparte once called England a "nation of shopkeepers".

  • Consumer expenditure per head in the UK is £8,053.

  • The phrase "The customer is always right", was coined by H Gordon Selfridge.

  • The annual sales of digestive biscuits, if stacked on top of each other, would reach 275 miles high That's 4,500 times the height of Nelson's Column or 1,400 times the height of the Eiffel Tower.

  • Britain's first department store was Selfridges, which was opened in 1909.

Similar careers