MultiPlatform GamblingUnless you live under a rock you know about mobile gambling and have probably heard how it’s going to do for gaming what the steering wheel did for automobiles. And whether or not you believe that the future will lie in the palm of your hand, there is one area where mobile-gambling is gaining traction.
SMS, short messaging service, is the technology that has helped the youth of Europe develop the fastest thumbs in the world as they type and send text messages from the 12-digit keypad of their mobile phones. Billions of SMS’ whiz around the airwaves as people ask each other out on dates, set meetings and receive newsflashes – all on phones that are no bigger than a pack of cards.
Until recently, SMS had little to offer a gambler. But thanks to a company called NetGame Factory, a penchant for scratch cards and a m-gaming friendly Swedish government, SMS has become the Swedish lottery player’s medium of choice. Yee Haa is the new scratch card lottery game that combines a traditional scratch card with a SMS instant lottery. Scratch off the silver coating on the ticket’s left-hand side and see if you’ve won (nothing new there). Scratch off the ticket’s right-hand side and you reveal a unique code and a telephone number to SMS the code to. Plug the code into your phone, send the message, and within seconds you’ll receive a confirmation text letting you know whether it was your lucky day or not.
Here is where it gets even cooler. If you do win, you simply key in your bank account details and the winning amount can be transferred straight to your bank.
The new scratch card lottery charges players a premium-rate SMS fee (70 eurocents) to play, and the proceeds go to fund one of Sweden’s largest charities. Eventually the SMS lotteries will do away with the scratch card and the whole process will be operated over SMS. Once that happens, expect European lottery jackpots to mushroom as tens of thousands of players, who either live too far from a lottery agent to bother playing or are too forgetful to remember to buy in and join the lottery generation.