Party Gaming the largest online poker company, decided to move its servers to Gibraltar from Kahnawake, where it had interactive gaming licenses from the First Nations. It had concluded:

      The Directors have been advised that the extent of the Group’s operations and presence in Canada may be sufficient for criminal or civil action to be taken against the Group, the Directors and for other persons and entities associated with PartyGaming’s online game activities. If the prosecuting authorities in Canada regard the computers of PartyGaming’s customers in Canada as  “a device for gambling or betting” prosecutions could also be brought in Canada, under the Canadian Criminal Code against such customers. There has been concern at the lack of government reaction to advertisements of online pokeu.

      In Europe, outside the United Kingdom, the law concerning poker is unclear, perhaps because there are no government monopolies or powerful national interests concerning that issue. In Austria poker is considered a game of skill. In Norway poker is illegal, and regulators are now determining how to react to its growing popularity. Sweden has licensed its state-owned company Svenska Spell to operate online poker. During a two-year experimental period, advertising would be permitted.

Telephone betting via WAP / Java application

Betting on sports events is becoming increasingly popular in Germany. According to a study by the Cologne institute Sport + Markt, some even million Germans are already actively betting, and 104 million are interested. Mobile betting in particular has considerable potential. Providers of mobile betting and games of chance reckon that players will also want to bet on their favorites while underway or at the event itself. But how can someone make a quick bet on his favored club en route to the stadium?

      At present, mobile betters must implement a WAP-application or download and install an appropriate java application from the internet, which requires some detailed knowledge of the use of internet-capable mobile phone. Anyone who has tried accessing his emails from a mobile phone knows this is not a trivial exercise – and many would-be betters without the requisite technical expertise will not want to be bothered. Gambling experts like Wolfgang Reiter, who developed the betting channel for Premiere, say “There must not be any intellectual barriers for spectators. ”

Telephone betting in Call Centers

It’s a lot simpler to call a bookmaker and say “I’ll bet €50 that Bayern Munchen wins. But this requires the bookmaker to keep a call center and impacts the odds he can give.

Telephone betting in language computer

Today it’s possible to completely automate a bookmaker’s call centre with the help of a language computer. The VOICE contest at VOICE Day in Born dramatically demonstrated this technique.
      For the VOICE contest, participants had five days to develop a speech-controlled information and betting application for the 2006 Football World Championship. The contest conditions predicated two groups of four teams each, who had  already concluded two thirds of their games. Odds for a trend-bet on the remaining four games (1-0-2) or for correct prediction of the exact final result were prepared. Optionally, bets on a Championship turning-point could also be offered. Bettors could sign up to participate with their individual mobile phone number, and input of the PIN 4711. they could then load up their betting account from a fictive 16-digit credit card number, to be validated with CVC-code 452.

      After logging in to the speech portal, the bettor could verbally select among the following transactions :

  • Place a bet on a particular game, specifying the type and amount of the bet.
  • Query the game schedule.
  • Query groups and participating teams.
  • Query results of completed games.
  • Query current account balance, and load more funds to it.
  • Confirm the bet (including amount and odds) via SMS.
  • Load funds to his betting account from his credit card – but without “real” credit card validation

Contest participants included both major international firms like Nortel and such established specialists as Sikom, Sympalog, and voice robots, as well as the innovative newcomer Auratech. Even though only demo applications could be realized in the given time, nonetheless the functionality of the individual applications was impressive. You can test them at  

  1. Place:   Sympalog + 49180-5-212-317
  2. Place:   voice robots + 49 180-5-212031-8
  3. Place: Nortel + 49 180-5-212-3-4 and Sikom +49 180-5-212-31-5 (equal number of points)

As these examples demonstrate, the possibility of automated betting centers using voice technology offers betting providers new possibilities both with respect to the size of the target customer group and to the improved quotes that can be offered on account of reduced operating expenses, compared to manned call centers. These demo applications show that human speech recognition, understanding, and processing, and synthesized speech replies in convincingly natural quality is technically realizable. Boring keyboard  and verbal commands are pass é. Although one may still be entering digits via the keyboard in other speech-controlled portals, the applications demonstrated here can even reliably recognize indistinct speech and dialect. The simple spoken sentence “I want to bet €20 on Argentina. ” And in the same way the user could call up data on the game schedule, the odds on various teams, or load his betting account from his credit card without difficulty.

      These applications represent one-to-one realizations of the requirements for automated betting call centers. And this opens new business perspectives to betting – service providers. A viable commercial systems can be developed for less than $200,000. Current studies indicate that, once developed, such a system would have transaction costs of about 50 cents. Good speech – recognition computers have successful transaction completion rates over 90 percent, and current studies show customer acceptance of over 70 percent. In particular, older gamblers (50+) find it easier to deal with a speech-controlled computer than with internet applications.

When developing quality speech applications, a professional speaker records the important static announcements (welcome, system information, description of the offer, etc.) on the basis of a storyboard. Dynamic contents like odds or results are generated by speech synthesizers. The application uses much of the same technology and backbends currently used to refresh websites. Thus verbal dialog systems make it possible to conduct numerous (prepared) dialogs within a short time, and to process peak demands efficiently. They can also send out a reminder SMS with a built-in-call-back number a few minutes before a game begins, and thus initiate impulse betting.

      Both recorded and synthetic replies can be tailored to the time of day, regular customers, or customer age, and thus modified to an individual, personalized customer presentation. The systems are highly interactive, and permit customers to jump to other menu segments. Regular customers can be offered their preferred type of bet on the basis of their betting history. In some ingenious audio worlds, where stars are speaking (as in the speech-controlled 1.Football club Cologne Lukas Podolski betting game ) the caller is provided a highly entertaining experience, at very reasonable cost and with a large menu of choices. The biggest advantage, however, is : speech-controlled betting portals have no intrinsic barriers.
      In view of the solutions presented at the voice contest one can predict, that it, as expected, the state gambling monopoly is abolished during the  coalition negotiations in November, then established betting service providers will also begin offering speech-controlled  betting portals to round off their service palette and expand their customer base.