Confessions of a Teenage Bookie


Guest Writer Tom Schultz, Morning Show Host – 97.1 The Wave/WAVD-FM

To start off, the headline is a little misleading. But it is catchy. To be more accurate it should read “Confession of a former Delaware Sports Lottery supervisor”. My name is Tom and before I became the morning guy on 97.1 The Wave, I worked for a Delaware casino and basically managed the parlay football betting for the Delaware Lottery. I started out as a teller, writing the tickets and then moved into a supervisory position which I did for about six years. So, I believe I have the experience and knowledge to help you weed through the new sports betting in our state.

Last week, Delaware will became the only state of then Nevada to offer legal wagering on a single professional sporting event.

While bettors in Delaware have been able to bet on football using a parlay system of picking at least three separate outcomes, that won’t be a restriction anymore. You’ll be able to wager on any number of multitude of options and sports, including auto racing, baseball, basketball, boxing/MMA, golf, ice hockey, and soccer.

So how does it work…

First head to one of the three casinos in Delaware to find their current betting lines.
You will see a line for the “favorite” and the “underdog”. This allows the “Book” to take money on both sides of a sports proposition. Otherwise, everyone would bet on the favorite everytime.
The Book will create a point spread for most games, to try to level the playing field in the gambling world.If they’ve put the line in the right place, they get the 50/50 split of money, and the casino would then make their money in what they call the “vigorish”.

A typical “straight bet” pays at 11-to-10 odds, meaning you would need to bet $11 to profit $10 on your ticket. A winning $11 bet would return $21. That extra dollar that’s unaccounted for would go back to the casino, and there is their profit.

If you don’t want to deal with point spreads, you can do a “Money Line” wager, which is whether the team/player you bet on wins or loses. The favorite team may have a money line of -120. Meaning you need to put up $120 to win $100. The underdog or weaker team may have a money line of +150. Meaning you would win $150 on a $100 bet. Also in sports betting you always get your original wager back and added to your winnings.

Gamblers looking for bigger winning tickets can still do the same parlays that NFL fans have been accustomed to in recent years here in Delaware. Bettors can select multiple games, situations, or events, you can win a higher payoff, but your ticket is an automatic loser if one of your predictions is wrong.

Another option is the over/under, which is taking a projected score total of the two teams, and you have to determine whether it is over or under that total.

Finally, you can also bet a “teaser”, which changes the line to benefit the bettor (lower point spread for a favorite, getting more points if you like an underdog). The downside is you will get a lower payout for your reduced risk.

If you’re not interested in whole games, in many sports you have the option to bet score or totals by quarter, periods, rounds, or halves.Some sports even offer unique wagering options.

For a complete list of betting options and wagering terms go to

Hopefully some of this makes sports betting a little more understandable.Just remember to gamble responsibly and within your means. And Good Luck..but just remember the most important lesson I learned as a “teenage bookie” is That The House always Wins…in the end.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 7.24.15 AM

Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.