Here at AZBookmakers we are frequently asked about on-course bookmakers online. On-course bookmakers are based at horse racing tracks in different countries across the world such as Australia and the United Kingdom. Usually, these on-course bookmakers do not have an online presence.

However, since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, on-course bookmakers have had a difficult time. Horse racing was stopped for a few months when the pandemic first began and when it returned there were no spectators permitted to go to horse racing tracks. A few of the on-course bookmakers did venture online as a way to stay in business.

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Why do gamblers use on course bookmakers?

If an on-course bookmaker is available at a race track then there are several reasons why gamblers will go to them instead of using government owned bookmakers such as the Tote in the United Kingdom. The most common reason for people attending a race meeting to place bets with an on-course bookmaker is that they tend to offer the best odds.

These days, on-course bookmakers can lay off any bets they receive from gamblers at the track by using popular betting exchanges such as Betdaq and Betfair. Not all of the on-course bookmakers will do this though. They prefer to rely on their own knowledge and experience and offer the odds that they believe will suit their book the best.

As a result of this, astute gamblers at the racetrack will check the odds offered by the various on-course bookies and bet with those that are offering the best odds. This can often work well for the on-course bookmaker and the gamblers at the track too.

These days, on-course bookmakers tend to use more modern equipment than the old-fashioned chalk board. You will see on-course bookmakers sporting neon signs now. Whatever equipment the on-course bookmaker uses, you can rely on them making everything very clear about each race.

You need to know what rules each on-course bookie applies to individual races. For example, it is common practice for an on-course bookmaker to only offer “win” bets (no place bets) if there are 4 or less runners in a horse race. If there are between 5 and 7 runners then they tend to pay out on the winner and the second place only.

Races that have 8 runners or more will usually see on-course bookies payout on the winner and the second and third placed horses. In large handicap races that have 16 or more runners they will usually include fourth place as well. Everything is usually well displayed with an on-course bookmaker.

On-course bookmakers have to pay fees to the racetrack owner(s) to occupy certain spots. Those that have the best positions at the front of the track will usually pay a lot of money to be there. Other on-course bookmakers have to occupy less favorable spots and they will often offer better prices to attract more gamblers.

If you are at the track and don’t want to use on-course bookies you can do this

Not everyone that attends a race meeting will want to use an on-course bookmaker. Some people feel intimidated by on-course bookies and others just do not trust them. They also know that government owned bookmakers such as the Tote ion the UK do not offer the best odds.

A good alternative here is to take your smartphone with you and place bets with betting exchanges such as Betfair or Betdaq or conventional sports gambling sites such as Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Betfred.

Some of these have mobile apps designed for Apple iOS and Android smartphones. Alternatively, the betting companies will optimize their websites so that smartphone users can access them using a browser. You can see price movements and a lot more when you use your smartphone with betting exchanges or conventional sports betting websites.

On-course bookmakers have traditionally only dealt with cash bets although a lot of them now will accept debit and credit cards. It can be a lot more convenient for you to use your smartphone as you can transfer funds to your online bookmakers electronically. These days, it is fairly common to see people at a race meeting using their smartphones for news and placing bets.

If on-course bookmakers offer the best odds then you can bet with them

We have nothing against on-course bookmakers. Sometimes they will offer more generous odds than the conventional sportsbooks and even the betting exchanges. If you see that an on-course bookmaker will give you better odds for your selections then you can go for this if you are comfortable with the bookie.

When you do place a bet with an on-course bookmaker, always check the ticket that they give you to ensure that everything is in order. Sometimes mistakes can be made and your ticket is the only proof you have of placing your bet.

The future for on-course bookmakers is somewhat uncertain. As horse racing returns to some kind of normality and people start to visit horse racing tracks in large numbers again, on-course bookmakers will do more business. It is not easy for on-course bookmakers to go online and try to compete with already established online sportsbooks.

It would be a great shame to see on-course bookmakers disappear. Usually, there are a lot of characters in this profession who have years of valuable experience. We hope that most of them survive and offer another way for horse racing betting lovers to place their bets.

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