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Summary of occupation

Bookmakers attend races to provide a betting service. They work out the odds for each race dependent on the type of event, participants and conditions. They write up the odds on a board and may change them from time to time. They issue betting tickets and pay out on bets according to the results of the race or races. They need to keep a record of all transactions.

ANZSCO description: Determines risk, offers odds and accepts bets  on the outcome of racing and other events. Registration or licensing  is required.
Alternative names: Betting Clerk
Specialisations: Bookmaker's Agent
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A bookmaker needs:

  • to be able to perform calculations quickly and accurately
  • good communication skills
  • to be able to work under pressure
  • to be comfortable working with computers
  • to be able to keep up with competitors, riders and conditions
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Working conditions

A bookmaker would normally work varied hours depending on when race meetings are on. They will probably work during the week-end. They may have to stand up for long periods and work outside in various conditions. They may also need to spend time keeping in contact with people within the industry.

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Salary details

On average, bookmakers can expect to earn up to $701 per week ($36 493 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience. ​

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Tools and technologies

Bookmakers need to be proficient with computers.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a bookmaker without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. 

​To work as a bookmaker you must be at least 18 years of age, hold either a bookmaker’s licence or a bookmaker’s employee licence from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. You must also obtain a permit from the host racing clubs where race meetings are held. A current National Police Certificate is also required.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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