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Sports Betting Careers

The Definitive Guide 2017

 

Love sports? A job in sports betting could be ideal for you... Sportsbook operators hire traders, marketing execs, designers, developers, product specialists, lawyers, accountants and customer service staff. Our definitive guide gives you the insight on this booming industry, provides ballpark salaries and shows how you can make this dream a reality.

1 – INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

2 – CAREER ADVANTAGES

3 – NEED TO KNOW

4 – KEY ROLES

5 – SALARY SUMMARY

6 – FAQS

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1 – INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

 

Live The Dream: Careers In Sportsbetting

Imagine it – you’re sitting there in front of an entire wall of TV screens, watching multiple matches, right there in the centre of the action, contributing your talents to the global sporting community. Sounds like bliss, right?

Incredibly, this dream could be your JOB! Seriously, employers across Europe are crying out to employ you to sit and watch sports. We’re talking about careers in online sportsbook. OK, admittedly, there’s a bit more to it than just watching sports: you’ll need to have a particular set of skills to get in and get ahead. But if you’re truly passionate about sports, a career in sports betting could revolutionise what you think of as ‘work’

Starting your career in sportsbook can be challenging, but the sector is booming and there are multiple entry-points for graduates and career-movers alike. Product executives, developers, traders and marketing experts are all in high demand at every level from entry to senior leadership. If your digital skills are strong that’ll help, but there’s ample opportunity for professionals from across the spectrum of disciplines.

 

An Evolving Digital Industry

You can now bet on practically anything, from anywhere, 24/7, 365 days a year. The digital revolution brought sports betting online in the late 90’s, and it has been building ever since. Even beyond sports, punters can now place bets on current affairs, TV specials, weather and even video game tournaments. Europeans in particular simply can’t get enough of sports betting.

Unsurprisingly, this combinator effect of ‘digital progress’ plus ‘growing punter demand’ has fuelled a boom in the online gambling (or ‘iGaming’) industry. Traditionally based in hotspots like London, Malta and Gibraltar (the latter two primarily for regulatory purposes), online sportsbook operators and suppliers can now be found across Europe and worldwide.

Any form of gambling is generally subject to jurisdiction-controlled regulation. Sports betting, however, is often the first type to be regulated in new markets – perhaps due to its more traditional heritage. This effect makes sportsbooks something of a ‘frontier’ in the iGaming industry; an entry point for new consumers, and a first step for businesses.

Football (soccer) is Europe’s sports bet of choice, comprising around 75% of the continent’s betting activity. Only in the UK and Ireland does horse racing challenge its dominance, taking a roughly equal share of the stake: around 40% goes on horse racing, 40% football and 20% other sports.  

 

How Online Sportsbooks Work

Fundamentally, sports betting is really very simple. Bookmakers decide their odds, accept bets and pay out to the winner. They make money by getting punters to wager on both sides equally, and by ensuring the overall pay in is fractionally larger than the overall payout.

Once upon a time, this whole process was managed by specialist sportsbook ‘traders’. Whilst these professionals still play a huge part in sportsbook operations, it is mathematicians, algorithms and advanced statistical automation that now dominate proceedings. To a large extent, automation has levelled the sportsbook playing field.  

Sportsbook profit margins may surprise you. Running a sportsbook certainly isn’t easy money. With huge competition for odds pricing, margins can be well under 10%, even as low as 2-3% on big leagues. This creates huge pressure to streamline costs: streamlining operations; reducing acquisition cost; retaining punters long-term; keeping supplier pay-outs to a minimum.

 

Fresh Talent And New Ideas Needed

Now odds-setting and trading is increasingly automated - with little room for competitive pricing, save strategic ‘loss leaders’ - there are new battlegrounds emerging for online sportsbook operators.

First and foremost is user experience. Owning the most user-friendly online sports betting platform is absolutely critical for any sportsbook operator. It can literally come down to interface design, loading speeds and usability. Crucially, this extends to mobile platforms. Around half of all sports bets are now placed on mobile devices – phones and tablets – so having a robust, immediately usable app or mobile site is fundamental to success.

As the industry grows and evolves, it needs fresh ideas more than ever, and has increasingly looked to related industries like eCommerce, finance and marketing tech to acquire transformational talent. Creativity, ingenuity and competitive spirit, wherever it can be found, is needed in abundance to stay ahead of the pack.

 


2 - CAREER ADVANTAGES

THE BUZZ: that’s what most sportsbook professionals love most. Even as the days of open-plan ‘trading floors’ fade, the excitement of being in the heat of the moment, making crucial decisions, is hard to beat.


TEAM SPIRIT makes most sportsbooks brilliant workplaces. It takes all sorts to succeed, but with a common goal you’ll feel like you’re in it together.


This is undoubtedly a FAST-PACED career. If you’re working in-play, you’ll cover multiple events, matches, campaigns at any one time.


Bonuses and financial REWARDS can be significant in the sportsbook world. Don’t expect Ferraris (until you reach the upper reaches!) but meanwhile you’ll certainly live comfortably.


Sportsbook operators and suppliers can be found ACROSS EUROPE, with particular hotspots in London, Malta and Gibraltar. Once you’re in, there’s ample opportunity to ply your trade in sunnier climates.


Love to BET ON SPORTS yourself? This could be your nirvana!

 


3 - NEED TO KNOW

Perhaps it goes without saying that a PASSION FOR SPORTS is, if not essential, then massively important. The closer you’re working to live operations, the more important your passion.


This is a SERIOUSLY COMPETITIVE industry, so you need to be willing to handle pressure. Big sportsbook operators run a tight ship, and will expect you to fall into line.


Yes, if you’re hoping to get into trading and odds-setting, you’ll need a MATHEMATICAL BACKGROUND. But don’t let that put you off: entry requirements may surprise you, and it takes all kinds of people to succeed.


“PREDATORY THINKING” is now what it takes to get ahead. Prepare to innovate, to lead and to out-smart the competition, whatever it takes.


Sportsbooks operate when sport is being played. You guessed it – that means EVENINGS, WEEKENDS, BANK HOLIDAYS, NIGHTS. Shifts can be demanding, which is why you have to love what you do.


 

4 - KEY ROLES

SPORTSBOOK TRADERS

Graduate Roles / Junior Traders / In-Play Traders / Pre-Match Traders / Sportsbook Statistician / Quantitative Analyst

Want to work right in the heart of the action? This is the area for you.

Reality check, though: you’ll probably find yourself starting at the bottom. Many of the biggest operators have graduate schemes that’ll get your foot on the ladder. Entry requirements include core mathematical skill (GCSE A-B and above) and deep knowledge of sporting leagues. Ultimately, you could end up heading up a particular sport, territory, or even the whole sportsbook.

Trading is evolving, with more and more of the core mathematics automated and calculated using advanced statistical modelling. Sportsbook technology suppliers are always on the lookout for talented mathematicians and quantitative analysts of degree and postgraduate level. Love a punt yourself? That’s a great qualification too.

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Basic-strong mathematical skill / Fanatical devotion to sport / Extremely strong league knowledge

SALARY: £25,000 - £40,000+ plus potentially-significant OTE bonuses

DEMAND: Moderate - High

Sportsbook Trader Jobs

PRODUCT EXECUTIVES

Content Editors / Product Managers / Team Leaders / Heads of Department / Head of Sportsbook

Product execs are often the driving force behind a sportsbook’s success, and are therefore likely candidates for future leadership roles. Theses individuals have oversight of the full product, from player acquisition to upcoming tournaments, live odds to quarterly results. These are the strategists – the people who’ll find their sportsbook’s place in the market and deliver what’s needed to succeed.

Individuals can come from a wide variety of backgrounds. There’s a particular demand for design-thinkers, professionals whose talents in UX, interface design or creative campaigns can add a crucial point of difference from the competition.

Sportsbook product execs don’t just need to be sports nuts, they need to be fully-fledged sports evangelists.

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Proven business, leadership or commercial experience / Absolute passion for sports / Some knowledge of sports betting environment

SALARY: £25,000 - £60,000+ plus potentially-significant OTE bonuses

DEMAND: Very High

Product Management Jobs

DEVELOPERS & DESIGNERS

Front End Developers / Back End Developers / UX Designers / Graphic Designers

Online sportsbooks are only as strong as their flagship website or app. Without exceptional, well-designed and robustly coded interfaces, sportsbooks are doomed to failure. And yet, with profit margins so tight, all this has to be achieved without breaking the bank. Not easy in a skill-short sector.

So what’s the career opportunity? Well, if you’re a talented digital designer or developer, a sportsbook could be your ideal employer. You’ll find LOTS of content to produce, an environment that values your skillset and subject matter you’re passionate about. There’s particular demand for iOS and Android developers (mobile sports betting is booming), UX designers and – of course – back end engineers.

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Design portfolio / Digital training credentials / Relevant qualifications

SALARY: £25,000 - £50,000+ plus bonuses

DEMAND: High

Development Jobs Design Jobs

ONLINE ADVERTISING

PPC Executive / Paid Social Executive / Campaign Manager

Product execs are often the driving force behind a sportsbook’s success, and are therefore likely candidates for future leadership roles. Theses individuals have oversight of the full product, from player acquisition to upcoming tournaments, live odds to quarterly results. These are the strategists – the people who’ll find their sportsbook’s place in the market and deliver what’s needed to succeed.

Individuals can come from a wide variety of backgrounds. There’s a particular demand for design-thinkers, professionals whose talents in UX, interface design or creative campaigns can add a crucial point of difference from the competition.

Sportsbook product execs don’t just need to be sports nuts, they need to be fully-fledged sports evangelists.

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Experience running PPC campaigns / High level of attention to detail / Knowledge of sports calendar

SALARY: £35,000 – £45,000+ plus significant bonuses

DEMAND: High

Advertising Jobs

MARKETING

Copywriter / Content Editor / Designer / Social Media Executive / CRM Executive / Marketing Executive / Marketing Manager / Media Buyer

Sportsbooks need the full digital marketing mix to be in with a chance of acquiring and retaining customers. Quality marketing people from related industries – with a demonstrable passion for sports – would be considered, though it’s the individuals from other iGaming niches (casino, lottery, poker) who are really sought-after and can charge a premium.

Every channel is there for the taking, but strict regulation on advertising in many territories presents particular challenges for sportsbook marketers. Overcoming this hurdle, though, the industry operates a hugely dynamic array of marketing activity on TV, outdoor, sponsorship, print, not to mention online. Opportunity galore for the ambitious brand or campaign manager.

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Marketing experience, ideally in a regulated sector / Creative talent / Existing industry contacts

SALARY: £30,000 – £50,000+ plus bonuses

DEMAND: Moderate

Marketing Jobs

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Customer Service Representative / Community Manager / Team Leader

All iGaming operators require a workforce of customer service representatives to ensure players and punters are adequately supported. Some teams may comprise just a handful of phone or instant-message operators, but larger operators may have offices of 100’s. Sportsbook operators are no different, and these can be exciting environments in which to work.

Language skills are highly-valued, particularly as operations are often managed from a single location – Malta, for example – servicing multiple European territories. German, English, French, Italian and Scandinavian speakers stand a good chance of finding work.

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Demonstrable customer service credentials / European language fluency

SALARY: £16,000 – £23,000+ plus bonuses

DEMAND: Varies by language

Customer Service Jobs

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Legal Advisor / Compliance Specialist / Accountant / HR Manager / Administrator

Like all business operations, sportsbooks need professional services support. Some responsibilities – HR, administration – will generally be similar to other sectors. Others – legal, compliance, finance – have their own quirks.

Legal compliance is huge in sports betting. Regulation is under continual review, and varies by territory. Key recent changes include UKGC ‘source of funds’ which requires operators to prove origins of bets staked, a major drive against money laundering. Advertising, data management and responsible gambling is all heavily regulated.

Finance professionals in sportsbooks need to be familiar with both high volume transactions and volatile trading – day to day variation can be severe, so it’s critical that operators can weather any storm. Clearly, though, the rewards can be huge.

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Relevant professional qualification / Demonstratable desire to enter new sector

SALARY: £30,000 – £45,000+ plus bonuses

DEMAND: Moderate

Professional Services Jobs

 

 

5 - SALARY SUMMARY

Role / LevelFromTo
Heads of Department / Senior Leadership £100,000 £150,000+
Software Development / Technical (per day) £400 £800+
Compliance / Legal / Finance Professional £30,000 £45,000+
Trading or Acquisition Specialist £35,000

£60,000+

Mid-Level Product / Marketing Executive £25,000

£35,000

Entry Level / Customer Service £18,000

£25,000

* Estimates based on Central London 2017, though similar equivalent packages are available in Malta, Gibraltar and across Europe.


 

6 - FAQs

What are the entry requirements for online sportsbook jobs?

Entry requirements, of course, vary by job. At entry-level, passion for sports and good academic performance can be enough. Commercial experience, though is highly prized. As a career-mover, you may be surprised how much value your experience could add. If you’re a player yourself, you may find your intimate knowledge of the game, and dedication to success goes a long way.

How much will I earn working for a sportsbook?

See salary table above. There’s a real potential of big rewards.

Where are sportsbooks jobs based?

Sportsbook operators and suppliers can be found across Europe and worldwide, generally in major cities. Particular hotspots include London, Malta and Gibraltar. Increasing numbers of roles can also now be worked remotely from home.

Are many sportsbooks hiring now?

Yes. If you’re interested to get an overview of who’s hiring, register with Pentasia or check out our current vacancies.

What is the gender balance of sportsbook workplaces?

This is, undoubtedly, a male-dominated industry at present. Women are, however, welcomed at all levels, and the balance is starting to change. Passion for sports knows no gender boundaries, after all!

Can I still bet whilst employed?

This depends on your employer, but generally, yes. You’ll likely be able to bet with other operators, and many of your colleagues will too. This is definitely the career for you if you love a flutter.

Do I get free tickets for sporting events?

Almost certainly, particularly if you’re working on campaigns. Remember you’ll be working in an industry that is truly passionate about sports – of course there’ll be opportunities to get stuck in and enjoy!

Can I transfer my skills from another industry?

Absolutely. In fact, many sportsbooks are actively looking to hire from other industries. This allows them to incorporate new ideas and approaches. If you’re working in the digital sector, for a sports brand, in finance or marketing and love sports – send us your CV.

Would sportsbook operators consider a short course as entry qualification?

Every employer has different entry requirements. A short course – like those provided by iGaming Academy (including one on Online Sportsbook Trading) – can be a brilliant kick-start to your career. You’ll need other qualifications too, but it’ll give you an excellent grounding and show your commitment to the career.

How do I prove my passion for sports?

It can be tough to translate your passion without using cliché. Try to demonstrate your love for the game using experience, accolades and hard fact. Played sports yourself? Perfect. Run a sports-themed blog? Include a link in your CV. Collected 100s of match tickets? It can’t hurt to set yourself apart.

What if I don’t love sports – is that a complete deal-breaker?

Frankly, if you’re looking to work directly on the product, probably yes! But that’s just the tip of the sportsbook iceberg. Those working in professional services, marketing, customer service or back-office tasks could have no more than a passing interest, if that.

Where can I find out more about working for a sportsbook?

(More?!) No, seriously, of course we can help! The best way to find out more is to register with us. If we can spot a match, we’ll give you a call to discuss. Alternatively, check out our current jobs, and feel free to drop any individual consultant a line.


 

7 - Apply Now

Ready to kick off your career in sportsbook? Pentasia works with the biggest names in online sportsbook, not to mention a whole range of related industries.

Send us your CV – you’ll then be given access to your candidate portal, where you can expand on your experience and desired roles.

Register With Pentasia View All Jobs