Online Casinos, Gambling, Poker and Sports Betting Magazine

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Interactive Television is the Future

Sean Eyen of Betting Corp Tells Us Why it Will Blow Your Mind

Why is iTV Gambling so popular?

Interactive television allows the user to play games from the comfort of their own home. Instead of going to the smoky bookmakers shop you can stay home with your friends and family. ITV is about entertainment, and the range of games on television are far greater than the range of games on the internet. It is a medium for the masses, and the products don’t have to be hard-core gambling.

What countries allow interactive television betting?

Right now only the UK allows full-on betting. Other countries allow you to download some types of games – even in the United States you’re allowed to download and play certain games for a dollar.

Does that also include the casino hotels in the US?

Currently none of the casino hotels allow real live gambling inside the hotel rooms. But Nevada is looking at intrastate gaming, which may include at a later date in-room hotel gaming.

Why is TV betting better than Internet betting?

The way the industry is going with television betting, is where you can watch a live presentation and participate along with it. On the internet you’re gambling against the computer, whereas the television makes you feel like you’re involved in the casino or in the sport, and you place the wager as the action is happening – rather than just playing against the random number generator. It’s a much better experience for the user.

Tell me about the in room betting and what type of hotels you’re taking on.

Currently Betting Corp has formed an agreement with Quadriga to provide in-room gaming within their hotel system throughout Europe. We’re initially going to launch in the UK next month, and then we’re going to roll it out to the rest of the countries as jurisdictions permit.

How popular do you expect it to be?

Very popular, especially as the technology gets more advanced, because this is relatively new technology which lets the internet, through the cable system, enable different features such as gaming, news, weather, stock quotes.

We’ve also signed a partnership with On Command, which is primarily featured in the United States in hotel rooms, I believe they have about 50% of the market, and Betting Corp will be the gaming platform. On Command has a much more mature internet platform that they are about to launch, which will not only provide gaming for fun, but also see the introduction of skill-based gaming which is allowed in the US.

Who is behind On Command and behind Betting Corp?

Betting Corp is a wholly owned subsidiary of Open TV, which is in turn controlled by the Liberty Media Corporation. On Command is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media. Liberty is a US New York Stock Exchange company that originally has its roots in the cable business and expanded to the content and programming side of things. It has content such as QVC and the History Channel. It also has a strong cable network such as UPC in Europe.

When might you expect the US to adopt in room gaming for money?

For money - it’s all on a state by state basis. Most likely, the first launch will be intrastate, in the casino driven states like Mississippi or Nevada, in association with land based casinos – you’ll leverage their license and have a controlled a environment, that will make sure that, not only is it legal within the rooms, but also that it complies with the age restrictions of the US.

Tell us more about the interactivity with sports?

The iTV market in the UK has been driven by the sports where, in realtime, you can press your wager button as you’re watching a sporting event. And that has filtered down to the majority of the fixed odds players, with slot machine type games, hi/lo games, numbers games, keno and bingo.

Tell us more about wagering on live casino events?

Right now, some UK companies are discussing it, but there’s currently no live interactive real casino betting, but people have taken live videos of casinos – for example, when the ball bounces 24 – they’ll film that, and then if the RGN picks 27 they’ll stream that video on the TV screen. But, as it evolves there will probably be several channels that will show a live presentation. A lot of this is based on the UK Gambling Bill which, when passed, will allow land based casinos to be a lot more promotional. At the moment there are a lot of advertising controls on what you can show and not show on TV.

Is there any opportunity for iTV betting for poker?

Again, because poker is not considered a fixed odds game, there are a lot of restrictions preventing it from being on iTV, although once the UK Gambling Bill passes, and as the technology we’ll have it on iTV. Soon, we hope, you’ll be playing it, whether in your hotel room or on your couch, in realtime against other players.
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