Sports Betting Dictionary
07.08.2023, 08:33
20.05.2024, 11:33
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Understanding the Role of a "Runner" in Sports Betting

In sports betting, the term "runner" holds a significant place. It refers to a person who places wagers on a sportsbook for someone else. The role of a runner can be linked to various scenarios, including evading a bookmaker's limits or leveraging different odds. Runners often act as a shield for professional gamblers to maintain anonymity.

A runner, sometimes known as a beard, is the middleman between the professional bettor and the bookmaker. Runners provide an essential service in sports betting – they allow high-rollers to place large bets without attracting attention or revealing their identity. Some professional bettors use runners to avoid betting limits by bookmakers, while others use them to take advantage of regional differences in betting odds.

The usage of runners is often seen in locations where sports betting is fully regulated and legal. For instance, in Las Vegas, a runner can legally place bets for someone else, provided they are over 21 and have a contractual agreement with the person they place bets for. In this situation, the runner typically earns a commission or a set fee for their services.

Term Origin

The term "runner" in sports betting originated from the practice of physically running to place bets. Before the advent of online betting, bettors who wanted to get in on the action had to visit a bookmaker to place their bets physically. Runners would "run" these bets for bettors, hence the name.

Similar Terms

  • Beard: Just like a runner, a beard is someone who places bets on behalf of another person, usually to conceal the identity of the actual bettor.
  • Proxy: In some betting contests, a proxy is a person who places bets for someone else who can't physically be in the location where the bets need to be placed.
  • Agent: Similar to a runner, an agent may place bets for clients, often as part of a broader range of services provided to the client.

Examples of Usage of ‘Runner’ in Sports Betting

Example 1

The professional gambler hired a runner to place his bets, ensuring he remained anonymous to the bookmaker.

Example 2

The bettor used a runner to place additional wagers at other sportsbooks to get around the betting limit.

Example 3

The runner was busy throughout the day, rushing from one sportsbook to another to secure the best odds for his client.

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