Shed End fans
Shed End fans

Do you constantly find yourself browsing CFCnet and other sports pages at work? Is your boss tired of said habit? Does your job, quite frankly, suck? The job market today rewards passion. Hence it follows that the logical conclusion to the problems above would be to get a job in sports. A good way to get paid for your sports knowledge is to start work as a sports trader for a betting company. Landing every fans dream job is easier than you might think and you can soon spend the rest of your working days watching or writing about sports ­– without getting fired.

As a sports trader you are responsible for setting the odds of bookmakers. To do so you need otherworldly footie know-how. How do you get that? Well, you watch sports all day until you’ve developed a sixth sense for the outcome of games.

There are two breeds of trader. The first one is the pre-match trader. Here, some mathematical and statistical knowledge is key, or in any case a wealth of experience in the field.

However, most traders today start out as in-play traders, where quick-decision making is a must. In-play traders also watch all the games they trade. This essentially means that they are getting paid to watch sports. Have we got your attention yet?

Working in the gaming industry also gives you a chance to catch some sun. Several of the firms have offices located in the gaming hubs of Malta and Gibraltar, where there are also job opportunities at everything from e-lotteries to software developing. To land a job with one of these firms, it is recommended to keep an eye out for openings on your usual job search sites. It is a fast-paced industry so IT positions are regularly available.

Sports traders are famous for being secretive. A lot of bookmakers do not reveal the names of their traders for fear of outside influence. Michael, 35, has been in the industry for over 10 years and was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding his career choice.

How did you become a sports trader?
I fell into the industry by accident when I was 19 and looking for work. I ended up in a call centre working for a betting company. It wasn’t something I was looking for, but once I was in the industry I enjoyed the job and began to work my way up the ranks. There is a tendency to promote internally in most of the companies I have worked for in the past.

What is it like working as a sports trader?
Every job has its pros and cons. But this has more pros than most – most people in office jobs don’t get to watch sport all day! But here it is not only encourages, but required to complete the task at hand. Getting paid to do something you do at home anyway can’t be a bad thing. Half your conversations with colleagues are just the same banter as you’d get down the pub: Who are the best players? Who will beat who? How will this affect that in terms of team sports? We just get to apply that to our work.

What are bookmakers looking for when recruiting?
Most traders are punters ­– you need an understanding of the industry and the sports you trade. Some people’s interests lie with different sports and as such their expertise will lie alongside that. But the basic trading skills apply to any sport. Two major things companies will look for are knowledge and passion. These are key.

Bookies are looking for traders who know and love the game. If you do that, you’re halfway there. All companies have basic prerequisites for the jobs they need to fill that apply across the board. The difference with being a trader is an interest and passion for the job you do. As more than likely it’s something you’re doing anyway whether you get paid for it or not.

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