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Vegas Sports-Betting Goes Digital, Real-Time With Handheld Devices

While it's hard to picture Frank Sinatra holding a martini in one hand and an electronic handheld device in the other, more and more, Las Vegas sports bettors are trying new ways to gamble.

According to The New York Times, casinos like M Resort and the Venetian are supplying bettors with new handhelds, which resemble iPhones, to make bets in real-time throughout a game or event. Gamblers still give cash to ticket writers, but instead of receiving a paper ticket, they get an eDeck that's loaded with electronic credits. An eDeck can be used anywhere in the casino (except gaming tables), so long as it's within the range of the Radio Frequency Identification chip (RFID) given to the gambler. For the purpose of additional security, all monetary transactions are completed on a back-end server.

This new system, which was approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission in 2008, not only makes it easier for people to bet, but also increases revenue for sports books. Instead of simply betting once on the outcome of a game, bettors can use an eDeck to view odds and bet multiple times throughout the game (on field goals or home runs, for instance).

More bets equate to more revenue, of course, which makes us wonder why it took Vegas bookies so long to embrace the handheld revolution. Maybe they need to lay off those martinis. [From: The New York Times]

Tags: casino, gambling, handheld, money, rfid, sports



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