German Software Group Aims for Versatility, Universality

21 July 2003

Scaraboo, a German mobile gambling software provider, has developed an extensive universal mobile telecommunication system (UMTS) for race betting that offers the same interface to Pocket PC and mobile phone users that it does to Internet users.

Bettors can now do more than just place bets over a mobile phone. Using Scaraboo's streaming real-time video transmissions, they can watch and wager at the same time. Races are even logged in the system's archives so users can view earlier events again and again. And if they want to trade some hot information, bettors can send text messages with the multimedia messaging service.

Wagers can, of course, be laid with real cash, but the network also lets users play with virtual money--an option that should please users who prefer to play for fun or get comfortable with the system before taking any risks.

The application also features several options for user personalization. Besides language choice and basic layout options, the application offers users the ability to track their favorite horses and to report their status and upcoming events.

Under German law, a person may not bet if he is not physically present in the state in which the race takes place. The Scaraboo platform ensures that no one violates the law by utilizing location-based services (LBS) and a global positioning system (GPS). Together, LBS and GPS can track users to within a few meters.

"What makes us unique is our approach that we embrace all media and all technologies," explained Robert Virkus, a spokesman for Scaraboo. "Normally in the horse race industry what you find is some basic applications for mobile phones, but not such a sophisticated application that incorporates streaming of the races and allows users to place bets at the same time. So this is a combination of the features; this is really unique. Also we can offer the same front and feel for users on Internet and mobile phone."

Scaraboo is taking a white-label approach; its clients will be able to market the application under their own brand.

The product was demoed to the public last week. Because it garnered a high level of interest, Virkus said, the company will start a beta phase with outside customers.

The full applications, he said, will be launched in the fall.

Bradley Vallerius

Articles by Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials. Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

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