Mobile casinos round the corner
By maddy
Casino Phone Technologies, the company developing mCasino is betting that gaming operators around the world will lap up its new technology it says could port casino games onto mobile phones, in other words allowing customers to play and bet — even when they’re away from the tables.

‘It's a simple concept when you think about it. What makes it fly is that both the casino industry and casino users want the product,’ says Peter French, communications director at Casino Phone. The Nevada-based company though still in the process of signing up casinos to get on board, is yet to come up with any publicly named partners. Lack of customer references apart, industry observers say such mobile technology could effectively extend casinos’ games from the floor to restaurants, hotels and possibly anywhere else a mobile phone can go.

‘We are not introducing these games to gamers for the first time. Customers play the games because they already love them and the chance to win money or prizes. What we are doing is giving them a new wireless platform. So why be bored waiting for the bus, or waiting for the train. If you have some free time and you’ve got a mobile or PDA, you can play,’ explains French.

MCasino’s games currently are built to run on 80 percent of Java-enabled mobile phones Pocket PCs and the new generation of smart phones. The technology would allow players mobile access to a wide range of casino games, including card and dice games, roulette and multiplayer interactive games such as ice hockey, kick boxing, football and more.

Technology issues, which the company claims to have solved is only one part of the market equation as current US federal legislation towards mobile gambling is still an unchartered territory.

‘Wireless gaming technologies such as that proposed by Casino Phone fall under the Federal Wire Act. That means, according to the DOJ, that interstate gambling transactions conducted via telephone or the Internet is illegal. The state has yet to sign off on anything like mCasino. We don’t think that it would be good for the state or the industry to have federal indictments coming down,’ says Nevada Gaming Control Board member Scott Scherer.

And though Nevada might enjoy allowing its gaming constituents to utilize wireless technology, it would rather not see any of them get caught up in federal lawsuits.

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