The potential for mobile wagering is being realized around the world—except in the United States. That is, until last month, when American Wagering Inc. introduced the first legal mobile sports betting system for its smart-phone customers at Leroy’s sports books in Nevada.
Vic Salerno, president and CEO of American Wagering, says the system has been thoroughly vetted by the Gaming Control Board and is legal only in Nevada. To ensure that it cannot be used outside of the state, Salerno says a sophisticated global positioning system process is included in the program that deactivates the service the instant a bettor is outside of the state’s borders.
“I tested it last week when I was coming home from Southern California,” he says. “I couldn’t access it until I came across the border on I-15 at Primm.”
Salerno says the process to get approval was long and arduous.
“What we thought would be a four-month time frame turned into a 14-month marathon,” he says. “It was a long time, but the people at Gaming were very cooperative and helpful in getting us approved.”
The first level for the smart phones is approval for the Blackberry devices on the Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile wireless carriers. Salerno says this is just the start, however.
“We plan to unveil new, state-of-the-art technologies in the coming months such as applications for the iPhone, Droid and Windows-based mobile phones,” he says. “We also plan to add our race book and unique fantasy sports features. We are making sports betting simple and fun.”
Computerized Bookmaking Systems, a subsidiary of American Wagering, developed the application, and will brand it for participating casinos.
“We plan to operate it for the first year and get the kinks out,” said John English, vice president for American Wagering. “Then we’ll lease it out to the casinos around the state.”
Leroy’s currently operates about 60 sports books in casinos in Nevada. Salerno said the company would be using its database as well as an extensive advertising campaign to market the mobile wagering option.