The Californian public company Hop-On Inc., has launched its first casino
product in a move to secure a slice of the burgeoning mobile gambling market. A company spokesman said the firm is providing solutions in the mobile gaming and wagering industry in order to gain a foothold in an increasingly lucrative market, and is looking for software distributors to act as casino hosts in the venture.
"Because of the overwhelming popularity of gambling in mainstream markets, the opportunity for mobile gambling is enormous," the spokesman said. "Hop-on is expanding our business beyond cell phone manufacturing and is currently seeking software distributors in Europe, Asia, North and South Americas to partner with us as casino hosts."
Hop-on has developed a virtual casino for cell phone users that utilises satellites, GSM/CDMA networks and WiFi in order to stream live interactive feed of dealers working at tables in real time.
Hop-on's value-added services like mobile video gambling as well as live satellite streaming wagering events such as baccarat, poker, blackjack and roulette will revolutionise personal gaming and mobile wagering across the world, the spokesman claimed. The casino style games will rely on quality graphics and state-of-the-art technology to make the streaming of actual card games in real time a popular feature on personal cellular devices.
The company's goal is to become the largest massively multiplayer online (MMO) casino game through cell phones.
The president of Hop-on, Peter Michaels, predicts that: "With the assistance social networks and broadband capabilities, interactive cell phone wagering will be huge. Mobile gambling is estimated to reach 12 billion in wagers by 2010. Our Casino hosts will distribute prepaid game cards to players in many different jurisdictions."
Michaels revealed that Hop-on is also working on settling regulatory negotiations to ensure that the company receives a gaming license from a G7 nation in order to provide reliable and legal mobile wagering. Michaels, has dealt with such regulatory issues previously, and has helped to draft mobile gambling laws in Canada and Australia. Other issues typically associated with SMS wagering and the collection of funds are being addressed by a top team of top-lawyers.
The new mobile gambling software is launching on an open "Android Platform" device at the Consumer Electronic Show, in Las Vegas in January 2009. The phone, including the software, will be sold for under $200.
The Open Handset Alliance, which supports the Android Platform, was established in November 2007, with over 30 members including mobile handset makers, application developers, some mobile carriers and chip makers, and is led by Google.
Android, the flagship software of the Alliance, is based on an open source license and will compete against other mobile platforms developed independently for their particular handsets. With the open platform Hop-on will reap the benefits of the source code, says Michaels.
Michaels commented: "We will be bringing Mobile Gaming to Europe where gaming is legal, secure and regulated. New 3G wireless technologies and phones will play a big role in the growth of mobile gaming by making it more convenient and secure. These new networks and phones will allow real-time, exciting action and player-to-player betting [will] be possible."