In an attempt to reach users who might not have Internet access, online sports book betandwin.com is offering its service on terminals in gas stations.
On Wednesday the terminals will be placed in the VIVA-brand convenience stores that accompany OMV petrol stations in Austria.
Norbert Teufelberger, co-CEO of betandwin.com, said that for now the terminals are in place as a test. If the experiment goes well—if the terminals work correctly and consumers use them—the company will add 200 more terminals in gas stations in Austria during the next year.
“The test is all about how customers will accept those, one. Second, we are testing our system at this point because we have a newly developed system. And based upon satisfaction of both issues, which we believe will be easily achievable, we will then roll out many more of those terminals,” Teufelberger said.
If the terminals are successful in Austria, the company, which is based in Austria and has licenses from that country and Gibraltar, plans to export the service to areas where Internet use is low.
“We believe it has fantastic potential for countries where Internet penetration is not yet well developed, as it is in the U.S. or Nordic countries or Western Europe, like in certain Asian countries or in South America,” Teufelberger said.
The terminals will offer sports betting, as does betandwin.com’s online business. The terminals will be connected via the Internet to betandwin.com’s database, which will allow users to bet on all major sports including soccer and American NFL games.
At the terminal, players insert cash and make their bet. After the sports event is over and the bet is decided, the user returns to the OMV station and presents his or her printout from the terminal to collect any possible winnings from the station attendant. Teufelberger said the machines are cash only, but adding credit card readers would be simple.
“Technologically it’s not difficult at all, but Austrians still prefer the cash,” he said.
OMV owns the only oil refinery in Austria and has 500 gas stations there and another 500 in neighboring countries. Teufelberger said in Austria most stores aren’t open late at night, so people depend on the convenience stores attached to gas stations for after-hours shopping. Betting will be an additional source of revenue for the markets, said Mag. Roland Wolk, the head of marketing for OMV.
“Our petrol station partners could no longer live off the sale of fuel and oil alone,” he said. “In addition to increased turnover, we expect increased visitor frequency in our shops.”
The terminals will be co-branded by OMV and betandwin.com.