Quite simple: The word ‘bookie’ is a slang for bookmaker, in the world of gambling, especially when it pertains to sports wagering.
A bookie provides odds to clients and accepts bets on sporting and other events. He or she then is in charge of collecting the losing wagers and paying out winning ones that he accepts on the said events.
Bookmaking and placing bets through a bookmaker is generally illegal in the United States if not done through a licensed company. Sports wagering through a licensed bookmaker is only legal inside the state of Nevada, and through one of the corporations.
The legality of other different types of gambling is determined by state governments, and could very well be changing within the next few years. New Jersey is one state that is taking its case to the Supreme Court to try and get straight bets to be legalized within its state boundaries.
In principle, bookies make their money by charging a fee on their customers’ bets known as a “vigorish,” (also known as “the vig” or “the juice”). Generally speaking, in football and other sports where a pointspread is attached, that “vig” is 11-to-10. This means that the player has to risk $110 to win $100 (for example). If the player wins, he collects $100; if he loses, he pays the bookie $110. Bookmakers do not usually make their money by placing bets themselves.
There are two types of bookmaking operations on the street: credit and post-up.