Betting kiosks set for football season

Aug 17, 2004 4:23 AM

New betting kiosks that will allow sports bettors to place bets when the casino’s sports book is closed should be available for the upcoming football season.

Developed by Internet Sports International (ISI) in conjunction with American Wagering, the company that owns Leroy’s sports books, the kiosks allow bettors to place sports bets without having to transact at the sports book counter. Thus, players can make bets after hours, or in casino locations away from the sports book.

So far, about 15 sports books have installed the betting kiosks, according to William Stearns, ISI president.

"One location was so remote that the device will present the first opportunity for the locals there to participate in a hands-on sports book activity," Stearns said. "The small casino and its patrons are very happy."

The first sports betting kiosks were sent to field trial more than a year ago. They were set up to handle up to $1,650 in wagers per day per bettor, who has his photo taken at the time of placing his bet.

The bettor’s image is then stored in the machine’s database and used to "recognize" the player when he makes additional bets, thus ensuring he doesn’t exceed the $1,650 per day limit.

The machines, like ATM’s, accept cash through a bill acceptor. Through the kiosk’s touch screen or computer keypad, the player can search the menu for betting lines, point spreads or race entries. There are even glossaries that explain the myriad of sports and race bets.

Once a bet is selected, a ticket is printed for the player. Just like the ticket-in, ticket-out slot machines, the ticket, if it is a winner, can be inserted back into the kiosk in order to make additional bets, or it can be cashed at the casino cage or sports book.

ISI has been working on a sports package addition that will allow kiosk customers to access sports information, handicapping services, sports memorabilia and even golf course reservations.

"We have worked out an agreement with some of the area’s top golf courses to allow customers in the sports book or around the casino floor to conveniently place tee-time reservations through the kiosk network," said Ernest C. Matthews, co-owner of ISI. ISI has also negotiated a horseracing component through a local company that provides archived race videos.

"This will allow a horse player to analyze a particular horse’s past performance when making a bet on an upcoming race," Stearns said.

The company has also developed an in-room unit that would allow a hotel guest to place a sports wager from the hotel room after an account has been opened in person in the sports book. The device has a fingerprint security system to keep unauthorized people from using the unit. The hotel room unit has yet to be approved in Nevada, which currently prohibits in-room betting.

Formed in 1998, ISI shareholders include a leading kiosk manufacturer, Kiosk Information Systems, a software systems developer and kiosk manufacturer, Netbooth, and a partnership of casino developers, operators and owners.