Mobile Betting Begins in Vegas

Frank Mercadante Jr. likes to bet on college football. It doesn’t matter who plays. He will bet $20 or $30 on regular-season games, and sometimes $50 on the results of a bowl championship series bowl game. Do not see Mercadante lined up in front of a traditional window in a sports book in downtown Las Vegas or on a strip. Instead, you will find him using a blackberry, which is a probability-scanning bet in a bar or a couch house.

“It’s never been easier to make a bet,” he said. “I made a bet at a bar or at home. I made a bet at my wedding this year.” Mercadante is an example of a new generation of gamblers who want to be able to bet safely online or anytime, anywhere using the application they want. When he turned 21, he immediately signed up for a pager account on Leroy’s Horse and Sports Place. Today, the 33-year-old was one of the first customers to abandon the pager to make a bet with BlackBerry.

“It’s a safe way to place a bet. Within seconds of logging in, it checks your (account) total, and you choose your bet and click on it once,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about collecting my jackpot at all. I’m not sending my money overseas.” Betting trends and habits are changing. And, while the traditional choice of sports betting has been racing and sports books, it is expected to be complemented by online and mobile betting. It is also inevitable to lobby legislatures and state regulators to allow these companies to operate online casinos within Nevada.

David Schwartz, director of the Center for Game Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said Cantor Gaming is “looking forward to expanding significantly” into online gaming. Figures for 2010 released by Gartner, a technology research firm, show that smartphones accounted for 297 million, or 19 percent, of the 1.6 billion mobile phones sold last year. This is 72.1 percent more smartphone sales than in 2009. Gartner expects U.S. smartphone sales to grow from 67 million in 2010 to 95 million in 2011, and become the best-selling consumer electronics category. To capitalize on the growth, American Wagering Inc., the parent company of Leroy’s sports books, has pressured state gaming regulators to approve its sports betting application for smartphones.

The Las Vegas-based company was licensed with the BlackBerry application last year and has begun extensive field testing of its applications for Google’s Android operating system smartphones. Both applications allow people to bet on sporting events anywhere in Nevada. With 76 locations across the state, American Wagering is developing applications for Apple iPads and iPhones. American Wagering Senior Vice President John English said the customer response to the BlackBerry application has exceeded the company’s expectations. 에볼루션 바카라사이트

“The handle was phenomenal,” English said. Both applications allow perfectly functional sports books and offer a menu of sports events along with in-game bets, offers, and contests. Customers must open a Leroy account before placing a bet. English and Cantor Gaming CEO E Amatis has been at the forefront of the shift in Nevada’s sports betting industry. Both executives believe their technology will be in demand as online gaming becomes legal on a state-by-state basis in the U.S.

Cantor Gaming is part of Cantor Fitzgerald, a brokerage firm that created the technology used to trade bonds and other securities. In 2005, Cantor Gaming began lobbying for a bill that would allow betting on handheld devices in certain areas of casinos. In 2008, Nevada gaming regulators approved the technology. Amatis said, “It’s legal, but our industry needs to move on.” In Nevada, it is legal for gamblers within state limits to set up casino accounts and download software on home computers, download mobile phone applications, or place sports bets remotely using pagers. Other forms of online betting are illegal in Nevada.

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