Youbet wireless wagering near tipping point
By maddy
For bettors who do not have easy access to an OTB or simulcast facility or a phone account, wireless technology could be the answer.

Youbet, the online wagering company is expected to launch a new wireless hand-held device next month on July 21 at the American racing industry. The devices will let customers make a wager from the grocery store, the beach, the airport, the department store or while just walking down the street. In Hong Kong, and Japan more than 150,000 bettors already own hand-held wagering devices.

Developed by Digital Orchid, a San Diego-based company which has already developed wireless products for NASCAR, the device will allow the customer to make a wager, while also providing real-time odds and results, full entries provided in a format similar to a normal race program and betting activity log. The cost of a subscription is US$19.99 month, which does not include the cost of the device.

The launch product however will not offer video streaming of live races or replays and the customer must sign up with Verizon Wireless.

The company plans to launch the next version of the device next year, which will sport wideo streaming. The next step will be for the cell phone to replace the hand-held device.

ĎIt wonít be long until the customer can bet on and watch races live from just about anywhere they please. Itís such a dynamic industry that with these devices I would say (video streaming) will be available in probably three to six months. The industry is just changing so quickly. If you want a conservative estimate, it will be maybe 12 to 18 months,í says Sean Conley, the brand manager for Youbet Anywhere.

Conley adds that development isnít far away, either. In the near future, an individual's phone can be his personal simulcast and wagering center.

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