A sportsbook is a gambling establishment that accepts bets on various sporting events. Most of these bets are on whether a team or individual will win an event, but there are also other types of bets like total score bets and props (property bets) which are wagers on specific occurrences during a game. In order to make money, sportsbooks set odds on these occurrences based on their probability of happening. Generally speaking, an event with a high probability will pay out less and one with a low probability will pay out more.
Sportsbooks also earn a profit through something called the juice or vig. This is a fee that the sportsbook charges to cover costs and ensure it makes a profit. This is usually a percentage of the action that takes place at the sportsbook, but there are also some instances where the sportsbook may charge a flat fee for each bet placed.
Unlike larger betting websites that often have investors to consider, managers and other employees to manage, and large overhead and operating expenses to cover, a per head bookie operates on his own. This can allow them to offer better sports betting odds and be more responsive to the needs of their clients.
White labeling can limit the amount of customization you can do with your sportsbook and this can be a problem. Ultimately it can result in higher operating expenses and lower margins. This is especially true in sports betting where margins are already razor thin.