Palms to debut ‘in progress’ betting

Dec 20, 2005 3:08 AM

In just a few weeks, the Palms will debut a new sports wagering system that allows players to bet on live action events while the game is in progress.

The system — Rapid Bet Live from Progressive Gaming (formerly Mikohn) — was unveiled at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas last September.

"Rapid Bet Live represents a new dimension in sports betting, in both the excitement level and product delivery," said Robert Parente, Progressive Gaming’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. "We are extremely pleased to be working with an innovative partner such as the Palms on this project."

The Palms expects to have the system operating by mid January. To accommodate Rapid Bet’s TV screens and computer terminals, the Palms race book will designate 12 seats in its first four rows as live-bet stations.

"We are thrilled about this opportunity to work with Progressive Gaming in bringing our customers the latest in sports wagering technology," said Marc Nelson, the Palms director of ancillary gaming. "We couldn’t let such an innovative new product get by us."

Nelson said he expects sports bettors will embrace the new system, which will feature a $5 minimum bet.

"Players want instant gratification," Nelson said. "This system will give players the opportunity to make bets throughout the contest, rather than sitting on their hands for the duration of the game."

The Rapid Bet system is far superior to the Sports X Action system introduced a few years ago, which also provided for betting on real-time action, Nelson said.

"That system allowed betting on every play, every pitch in baseball, which was just too much activity to process," said Nelson, who had up-close knowledge of the Sports X Action system at Fiesta Rancho. "Today’s computer technology is so much better and the Rapid Bet system doesn’t attempt to cover every single event of a contest."

What Rapid Bet does, Nelson added, is create smaller betting windows, a "five minute game," in which players can bet the outcome of a team’s drive — score, punt or something else — as well as the outcome of the game (winning side, total points) while the game is in progress.

"We’ve seen through our innovative quarter and half-time wagering options that players want more betting opportunities," Nelson said. "Rapid Bet will ensure they’re in action for the whole game."

Rapid Bet will begin with the remainder of the football season, which, in mid January will include playoff games then ultimately the Super Bowl.

Beyond that, there isn’t any sport that can’t be programmed into Rapid Bet, said Rich Bacceleri, the Palms director of race and sports.

"The possibilities are really limitless," Baccellieri said. "The key will be finding the betting opportunities that will suit the player, whether he’s watching hockey, basketball or golf."

Baccellieri, who will be responsible for the Herculean task of setting and maintaining the various betting options and their odds throughout a given contest, said Rapid Bet will work in a similar fashion to account wagering.

That is, players sign up and place their deposit with the sports book, then log onto a Rapid Bet computer with an assigned password.

"We’re starting with 12 stations, but we expect the demand could increase quickly," Baccellieri said. "This is such a natural concept ”¦ and the Palms is excited to be able to bring it to our customers."