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New system allows
remote sports bets

Dec 16, 2003 7:17 AM

Sports bettors who would rather hang out in their favorite tavern than brave the casino crowds will soon have their wish with a remote sports betting system recently approved by Nevada regulators.

Developed by VirtGame Corp. in California, the new system will allow players to remotely wager with their favorite casino through a network located in non-casino locations, such as bars and taverns that have slot machines.

"All the player needs is a phone account at the sports book," said Bruce Merati, VirtGame CEO. "Then he can place bets or check betting lines at kiosks located in his favorite tavern."

The kiosks, or Sport Bet Express (SBX) terminals, are similar to an ATM, Merati said.

At the SBX terminal, a customer can view a computer touch screen offering a choice of various casinos. The customer can choose the icon for his favorite casino, where he already has a sports wagering account.

He can then place a new bet on a sporting event, check odds, or check any other information regarding his sports wagering account.

"SBX is the first system that allows casino customers to place sports bets with casinos through a remotely located kiosk, without having to physically go into the casino to place the wager," Merati pointed out.

In accordance with Nevada gaming regulations, the customer must first go to his favorite casino in person to open an account and deposit funds. He can then use any SBX terminal throughout Nevada to wager on that account.

The system will initially be installed for field testing at Bally’s in Las Vegas, along with about 25 tavern locations, all of which will fall under the restricted gaming license of United Coin.

From a technology perspective, the SBX terminal is just like an ATM. It is a computer hardware device that sends and receives information to the casino through a digital network, just like any ATM can call up a bank customer’s account information from his regular bank.

"Our goal is to bring the latest in digital technology to the gaming industry," Merati said. "We have applied the most standard network technology that the average American has been using almost on a daily basis, at an ATM, or on an intranet at work.

"We have deployed this technology to the benefit of casinos and casino customers so that customers can wager when and where it is convenient for them," Merati continued.

Upon successful completion of the trial and final regulatory approval, a larger number of SBX terminals will be placed in Nevada locations, and other sports books will be allowed to join the network.

Based in California, VirtGame Corp. is a provider of server-based networked gaming software solutions to the gaming and lottery industries.

Its innovative products have included the VirtGame SP, a comprehensive, scalable and customizable gaming platform. For more information, visit www.virtgame.com.