|Each week the realms of gambling seem to be getting bigger covering just about anything, under the sky. If you could bet on sports, horses, dogs and most recently world events and calamities, but UBetWhat.com is raking up criticism and pushing the envelope further. Its founder says it only 'fills a niche.'|
The Kansas City Star today reported that UBetWhat.com, a new gambling site launched this week lets you bet on anything you can imagine provided its legal and you can find someone else to take the bet. With monthly memberships starting at $20, UBet grants access to a betting grid in which players propose and arrange wagers among themselves and settle up privately. In short it does what ebay.com does to auctions.
UBet was co-founded by Frank Thomas Aquilino of Staten Island, N.Y., and others, including relatives. FT, as he’s remembered, was a 25-year old Wall Street bond trader who tragically died in the Sept. 11 World Trade Centre attack.
Traditionally most betting sites, such William Hill sports book, set the odds, handle the cash and pay the winners. UBet players, in contrast, can conceive their own bets, post their own odds and await takers, with minimal involvement of the company. Bettors can risk cash or noncash valuables, or they can play for amusement using only the Web site's 'Fun Tokens' play money.
UBet co-founder Frank Aquilino’s father comments, ‘'The friendly wager is a part of everyday life, we fill that niche. We provide a venue for people to gamble among themselves, which is not illegal as long there's no bookie or house involved.'
Anything new and innovative has its share of legal hurdles and the website does not clearly fit within statutory prohibitions. Ubetwhat.com has a few legalities to clear-up, since the website is not wholly betting for money, but offers a P2P betting exchange. The $20 per month membership is a charge for using the services and for the website’s maintenance claims the company’s cofounder. The Atlantic City law firm Sterns & Weinroth last year issued a legal opinion to Aquilino. The opinion concluded that players were unlikely to be prosecuted but that authorities might take a harder line with the company.