There was a time when I took bets the old-fashioned way, over the phone. Like many of you, I started out with a small operation that I ran as a one-man show. Gradually, my players passed around the word and it seemed as though every week of the football season I was gaining a couple more players.
After about two years, I had to add operators and lines to handle the increased business. This was only one problem but in talking to other bookies, I realized we were all facing the same issues, many of which you probably face, or you would not be here looking for solutions! Here are most of the problems we faced:
Too many calls, not enough phone lines or operators
Limited hours of operation
Issues changing lines and getting the information to players
Players going over their limit
Collections, especially towards the end of the season
There are, of course, other challenges, but these were the problems most of us would gripe about over our beers each week. So, how can using a pay per head service help you address and fix these problems to make your sportsbook operation run smoother?
Problem #1 - Too many calls, not enough phone lines or operators.
When your operation begins to expand, it is only a matter of time before the players far outnumber the amount of phone lines and operators working. This can be a particular problem for the second set of games because many players prefer to see the outcome of their early games before placing wagers on the late games. Since a pay per head service has dozens of operators working multiple lines, getting through will never be a problem.
Problem #2 - Limited hours of operation.
Most of us would limit our action during the week to 60-90 minutes of open lines. That is not a large window for players to get lines and then make their decisions. On the weekends, we would have two or three sessions. Saturday was always the longest day, but even then, the lines would only be open for a couple of hours at a time. Furthermore, we would only take action on a game on the day it was going off. PPH services operate around the clock as well as having Internet access. Players can bet on their schedule.
Problem #3 - Issues changing lines and getting the information to players.
As a bettor, I had a real issue when my bookie changed a line on me when I was calling in a bet. As a bookie, I could not help but think the player figured I was trying to get over on them. This will never be an issue when using a PPH because the players always have access to the lines online. The moment a line is changed, it is reflected on the website.
Problem #4 - Players going over their limit.
It can be very difficult to figure out where a player stands at any given moment on a busy day, especially on Saturday when there are dozens of games slated. It is quite easy for a player to be buried and chase without you realizing it. Then, you settle the books at the end of the day and realize there is no way a player can come up with this kind of cash. When using a pay per head, you can set a limit on the player and once they hit that number, they cannot wager again until it is cleared by you. This number is updated in real time as well, to prevent them being buried in a single day without you being aware of the situation.
Problem #5 - Collections, especially towards the end of the season.
At some point, just about every gambler runs out of money. This is a point we have made numerous times and one that cannot be stressed enough. When a player uses a major online sportsbook, they MUST make a deposit in their account. They are used to this method. To protect yourself, get a deposit upfront and set this as their limit. If they reach the limit, you already have the money. If they want to wager more, they need to replace their stake. Win or lose, the figure is settled up every week during the season. At the end of the season, deduct losses or add winnings for the final week to the initial stake and return it to the players.