How to become a bookmaker

To become an on-course bookmaker, you need a Non-Remote Operating Licence from the Gambling Commission ( or tel: 0121 230 6666).  After your Operating Licence has been granted, you should download an Application for Authorisation form from the RBC website, complete it and send it in with the relevant documentation and fee (see the 'Bookmakers' section of our website).  Once we have received this and processed it you will be added to our database and allowed full access to our website, which in turn will enable you to see/buy any List Positions which may be available for sale at the 59 racecourses in Great Britain.

To set up as an on-course bookmaker can incur an investment of over £10,000 for equipment cost, if you wish to buy new equipment such as a joint (tel: Securit 07712 839472), computer, umbrella and lightboard.  Alternatively it is possible to rent most equipment from independent contractors on a daily basis - please phone us for further details. 

To trade for the first time, you must be authorised by RBC and you must have purchased your own positions on the relevant Bookmakers' List (we call these 'List Positions').   List Positions can vary a lot in price depending on racecourse and ring - needless to say, it costs a lot more to purchase a prime position at a premier racecourse than it does to purchase a low-ranking position at a lesser track.  Looking at 'Online Auction Results' in our 'Document Downloads' section will give you an idea of what List Positions are worth, although it can be a volatile market.

Next time you are racing try to have a chat with our our Betting Ring Manager.  There is one at every meeting and they are full of useful information and advice - plus, importantly, they will be able to introduce you to existing bookmakers, who are not normally shy in offering advice and guidance.

To understand more about the standards required of on-course bookmakers, please refer to the 'Special Conditions E' (the name given to the bookmakers' Terms and Conditions of Entry to Racecourses) and the 'Guidelines for Betting Ring Managers' (entitled 'Guidance Final March 2017'), both of which are available in 'Document Downloads.'