How to Operate a Sportsbook

A sportsbook is a gambling establishment that accepts wagers on a variety of sporting events. Some maintain physical shopfronts, while others are entirely virtual operations. Some offer a broad range of major sports, while others specialize in particular niches such as eSports or pivotal world events. The latter often also offer what are known as novelty bets, which range from the commonplace (e.g. royal baby names) to the wildly offbeat (e.g. when and where will the alien invasion begin).

To operate a sportsbook successfully, you need to have a reliable platform with an extensive list of betting markets with competitive odds, easy navigation, first-rate customer service, and clear bonuses that draw customers in. It is important to have secure payment methods that allow you to process customer payments quickly and without the need for an extra charge.

One way that a sportsbook makes money is by collecting a commission on losing bets, which is sometimes called vigorish or juice. This helps to offset the risk that the sportsbook will lose too many bets and go bankrupt.

It is also essential for a sportsbook to manage its action intelligently. This involves avoiding the type of systematic risk that market making books take. This is not to say that a sportsbook should avoid all risk, but it should be mindful of the fact that if the book doesn’t make its markets in an intelligent manner it can easily get beat by any serious bettor.