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The Secret Life Of A Bookie

Not All the Big Bets Are on Wall Street
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
James Woods, May/Jun 97

(continued from page 7)

CA: What is the average bet of your customers?

Pete: A few thousand per game. We're very reputable. We've been in the business for a long time and we have a select clientele.

CA: Therefore, your average betting is substantially higher than a typical bookmaker?

Pete: Like the casinos, we discourage people who can't afford to bet or who have a betting problem. We don't associate with them. We turn away a lot of people, because we find that even though it means less business, it's more viable. We have less headaches. We run it like any other business. A, B and C, what you take in, what you pay out and what you have left. It's very simple business ethics.

CA: Is the Super Bowl a big payday for bookmakers?

Pete: It could be. It's a very popular sport. People come out of the woodwork to bet on it.

CA: On an average fall weekend of college and NFL football, what is your average handle?

Pete: About $300,000.

CA: So, if your average handle for a full weekend, for college and pro football, is three hundred thousand, what happens on the big days? Is the Super Bowl your biggest one-day handle?

Pete: No, New Year's Day is.

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