Main Menu
Set Up An Online
Other Betting
Bet Types
    Spread Bet
Horse Racing
Football Bets
Sports Betting
Free Bets
Spread Bet
  | Home   | Index   | Info   | This Week   | Poker   | News   | Email
Can you set up an online bookmaker business?
The simple answer is yes and you can do this anywhere in the world and offer your service to nearly every country in the world. This has however become more complex in the last decade if you intend to offer legal betting, whichever country you are in and ones you intend to serve.

In The Beginning

At the beginning of the internet age it was as simple as having a bookmakers license and then finding an in-house software team that could build you a safe platform that could take bets online. You needed money though and it was a gradual development process taking several years from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Major betting sports like horse racing and football were the main offerings and there was little in the way of frills. It was in the these early years that real incentives to join up were invented with straight sign-up bonuses of real money that had few or no strings attached.

Bookmakers and online casinos were largely separate offerings from the different sections of the gambling business but as time progressed bookmakers added casinos and casinos added bookmakers. The exchanges came online at roughly the same time as the bookmakers and they began diversifying by offering traditional odds as well as casinos and the overall offerings started to look like each other.

The huge investment in development was not only a drain on resources but it prevented anyone other than the giants in the business from offering a complete package. And so the dawn of the software supplier was born. No longer was it needed to have expensive multi discipline in-house IT teams when you could turn to companies dedicated to providing online platforms. Even the big players like William Hill and Ladbrokes saw the efficiency and cost savings and switched to using these 3rd party developers. But this just made the product better and cheaper and so the competition could afford it too.

The Situation Now

Fifteen years on from this new business model developing, its now the easier part of the equation. Look through the internet and you can connect with the providers already brimming with turn-key solutions to fit your budget. What used to be the easy part, getting a bookmakers license, has become the difficult bit.

A whole knew regulating body was brought into being by the 2005 Gaming Act, the Gambling Commission. Now the premier licensing body in the world, although with plenty of critics calling for its rebuilding, the UKGC is the body you have to go through to be licensed, and you need more than just one.


In the good old days if you wanted to take a bet legitimately then you needed a bookmakers license and there were not that many hurdles in getting one. Now there are twelve different types of license and that is just for betting and they do not cover casinos, bingo or the use of gambling software, which needs its own license.

The type of licenses you are in need of to start an online bookmaker are varied and in the UK will have to be obtained through the Gambling Commission's license application system. The software partner you choose will need a license and if want to provide a complete service like virtual horse racing, that needs one too.

Having all these licenses to apply for may seem daunting but if you can show a clean bill of health in terms of an advanced background check, then you are through the first hurdle. This will include criminal records and financial records but will also include any jobs you have had and any properties you have or still do own.

Once you are through these checks its all about your business plan and where the start-up capital is coming from and who you chose as partners, if at all. If you pass all of this then you can be granted the necessary licenses and many people still do for UK licenses which is the toughest in the world to obtain.

So you have made it through the obstacle course and now its time to put your business plan into action and this will not take a small amount of money because there is so much competition and thus you will be spending to get a foothold into the market.

Leading The Way

The classic example of starting small and ending up big is Denise Coates. After leaving university she took over management of her families' small chain of betting shops in Stoke. She bought the domain name Bet365 in 2001 and renamed her company with it and then borrowed £15m from a bank against the whole business. This she invested in heavy and aggressive marketing and sharp customer procurement techniques. Now she is the highest paid executive in the UK and in the top 10 richest people in the country.

Of course her story should not put genuine people off but be a lesson. She went all-in with an internet platform, selling the chain of shops to Coral, and grew from no online presence to the biggest player in the market. So you just need a proper plan and to have strong marketing and a platform that spots new and niche markets that benefit from specialisation. It is still possible to do.

Home | Index | Information | Links | Advice | This Week | Columns | News | Email
Lotteries | Casino Gambling | Games | Betting | Film Review | Book Review | Glossary

This document maintained by GGGeditor.
Material Copyright © 2000 - 2020