How to Start a Sportsbook

A sportsbook is a place where people can make bets on a variety of sporting events. A reputable sportsbook will offer competitive odds and first-rate customer service. It should also accept a variety of payment methods, including eWallet options. It should be licensed and regulated, and it should also uphold key gambling principles like responsible gaming and data privacy.

To start a sportsbook, you will need a detailed business plan and access to enough capital. The amount of money you need will vary depending on the size of your target market, the cost of licensing and monetary guarantees required by the government, and your expected bet volume. In addition, it is crucial to understand how different states regulate sports betting. Some require a license to operate, while others do not.

Legal online sportsbooks are a growing segment of the gambling industry. They use geolocation services to ensure that people are located within state lines before taking their wagers. They are also careful to comply with laws such as the Wire Act, which prohibits interstate gambling.

In the past, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks dominated the American gambling scene. Now, many sportsbooks are online only and specialize in certain types of bets. For example, some are devoted to major sports, while others take wagers on eSports or pivotal world events such as election results. However, offshore operators still prey on unsuspecting Americans, claiming to be regulated and licensed in their home countries. This is a clear violation of federal law and exposes these offshore bookies to liability.