The establishment of odds, which is at the heart of it, cannot be improvised. Here are the pre-requisites if you should one day apply for a job at Betclic, PMU or Unibet.
Sports betting traders
Fixing the dimensions
When we talk about the profession of trader, we most often associate it with the stock market: it consists in very broad terms of buying and selling shares according to a certain price that reflects confidence in the performance of this or that financial product (example: LVMH shares).
At a bookmaker’s, the sports betting trader’s mission is to set the prices of possible sports outcomes, i.e. the odds. The players bet on them and his role is to decide according to different criteria why, for example, the PSG’s odds against ASSE will be 1.3:
- analysis of “objective” probabilities. The collection of raw data is generally subcontracted to specialised companies that provide traders with their reports.
- refining the ratings by taking into account the profitability for the bookmaker
- adjustments according to the bettors’ behaviour. For example, most players bet on teams whose victory seems obvious.
Sports bettors do not bet on each other but against the sports betting site, risk analysis is a crucial dimension of the business. An error in the prognosis and the establishment of odds means significant losses for the operator that can amount to tens of thousands of euros.
Attracting new bettors
Having attractive odds is in itself an asset for a bookmaker. However, it is not enough to encourage new bettors to join him and make the difference in the face of competition.
This is why, depending on his experience, a trader is often led to collaborate with the marketing department, either on a purely advisory or operational basis. For example, he may participate in the implementation of promotional operations (welcome bonus, challenges, special combined bets, etc.).
More generally, his permanent listening to the market is essential to take the right decisions. It can find support in the regular reports of the Online Gaming Regulatory Authority on player behaviour. Similarly, it must be vigilant with regard to changes in legislation. For example, after the Karabatic affair, betting on no-win games was banned, before coming back legal a few months later. The ARJEL’s regular decisions on the types of bets authorised thus oblige it to keep a regulatory watch.
A variety of profiles
No dedicated training but…
At the present time, no training can claim to provide real training for this trade. It has to be said that it is a rather marginal profession, including within the sports-related trades. As a result, few traders have become traders by vocation, but rather by chance after various studies and with a real passion for sport in the background.
As this is a key job for a bookmaker, a minimum of 3 years of higher education is often required in advertisements. In most cases, knowledge of:
- webmarketing, and more generally a great familiarity with computers and the web.
- mathematics (speciality statistics)
- right (even basic… but not total ignorance)
- and of course in sport, with concrete elements to support this if possible (for example a degree in football or tennis, the flagship disciplines; diploma from a sports career school such as ILEPS, etc.).
Specialisation in a particular league, e.g. the Bundesliga, is still appreciated. It makes it possible to set more relevant odds and a trader is always specialised with a major bookmaker.
This is a very demanding job and is not suitable for anyone who is familiar with sports and marketing. You still have to be able to take on the important responsibility of running the odds, especially when you have to work on a strategic sport such as football, and even worse on a central event such as a World Cup. This is why an ex-trader in finance who is used to pressure and wishes to retrain may be tempted by the profession.
In addition, you have to be prepared to work very flexible hours, since the championships often take place in the evening or at the weekend.
On the other hand, the remuneration is attractive: €2,000 net per month is a minimum and the most experienced can receive, in addition to €5,000 per month, various bonuses linked to their performance.