How to Start a Sportsbook


A sportsbook is a gambling establishment that accepts bets on different sporting events. It also offers odds that indicate how much a bettor can win based on the event’s outcome. These odds can be fractional, decimal, or moneyline. In the US, the Supreme Court has allowed states to legalize sports betting, and it is a growing industry. However, it is important to research the legality of sports betting in your jurisdiction and only wager money you can afford to lose.

To operate a sportsbook, you’ll need to have a solid business plan and sufficient capital to cover startup expenses. The initial investment will vary depending on the target market, licensing costs, and monetary guarantees required by the government. It is also important to invest in a reliable computer system for managing information. You can use software for bookkeeping, customer and resource management, as well as for balancing bets.

The business model of a sportsbook is determined by the sport, market, and risk tolerance of its customers. For example, a sportsbook that has a high margin may have a larger number of lopsided bets, but it can make up for this by attracting a large volume of bettors with a lower house edge. Retail sportsbooks balance two competing concerns: they want to drive as much action as possible (especially in live markets), and they are in constant fear that their lines are rigged. In response, they typically set low betting limits and raise the hold in their markets to mitigate this issue.