Station cuts deal with mobile gaming provider

Feb 5, 2008 6:30 AM

Sona Mobile and Station Casinos last month entered into a joint multi-year development, licensing and distribution agreement in which Sona will provide in-casino, Internet and mobile race and sports wagering applications to Station Casinos’ customers through its unique software.

The Sona Gaming System is a server-based gaming software application which delivers table games, video poker, bingo, horseracing and sports betting virtually anywhere in the casino where it is permitted.

The system consists of server and device software that runs on wireless personal assistants (PDAs), a wireless tablet or a fixed kiosk (wired or wireless).

The jointly developed products, which include the Sona Gaming System and mWager, may be distributed worldwide by Sona — except in the Las Vegas market where Station has exclusive rights for at least five years — and used by Station in its properties.

Sona’s unique software enables players to conveniently act as handicapper, ticket writer, fan and gambler simultaneously from the convenience of their own cell phone or PDA or a specific kiosk and will provide the casinos an unprecedented level of real-time player tracking.

The company’s Sona Gaming Platform (SGP) provides clients the ability to play slots, table games and video poker, and make horse and sports wagers — all from a single screen — as well as manage their account and follow line updates.

"We are looking forward to working with Sona to leverage its existing race and sports application portfolio, which will provide additional wagering entertainment value, convenience and privacy for our customers," said Art Manteris, vice president of race and sports book operations for Station Casinos. "We like Sona’s vision and feel it’s a very good strategic fit for our company."

Shawn Kreloff, chairman and CEO of the Manhattan-based software company, sees the new agreement as a perfect fit for both companies.

"Station is the leader in the Las Vegas locals market and runs one of the largest race and sports books in the country," Kreloff said in a press release. "This is a partnership centered around bringing a state-of-the-art experience to Station’s customers in the race and sports book, at home on the Internet, and on their mobile device. Sona is pleased to be chosen as the Station Casinos’ leading provider of race and sports wagering technology."

There are no customers using Sona products at Station Casinos just yet, although the company is happy to be joining forces with Sona, according to Jason McCormick, Race and Sports Book Director at Red Rock Resort and Casino, the hub of Stations’ operations.

"We’re just in our developmental stages," McCormick said. "We’ve just come to an agreement with Sona Mobile and now we’re looking at the type of products that we want to develop with them and what we want to offer to our guests. It’s definitely in its infancy."

McCormick said he, Manteris and Station Casinos are still deciding on the particulars in what is an ongoing process.

"We’re in the infancy of getting it out there and deciding what we’re going to offer with Sona Mobile," McCormick said. "I imagine as soon as we get it up and running it’ll be something like our Sports Connection accounts where you come in to the book establish an account and then you’re off-and-running and you can go anywhere in the state and hopefully take it out of state. I think there are about 22 states where you can use it.

"That’s the goal moving forward. There are baby steps here. Our first goal is to make it available to our guests inside Nevada. As soon as we do that, then we’ll look to expand that menu outside the state of Nevada."

McCormick thinks Station has a perfect partner for the future in Sona.

"Sona has been very, very aggressive. We feel like we’ve got in with a company that has got a vision for the future and at Station we want to join them," he said.

"It’s a growing relationship," he added. "They’ve done a great job in New York. They kind of helped establish the Internet racing for NYRA (New York Racing Authority) and we feel like they bring that to the table for us. And there’s still a lot of area to work through though. We’ve got to do a lot with the Gaming Control Board."