Wed, Apr 24, 9:09pm by Kevin Pitstock
A pair of Melbourne-based brothers hope to turn their social gaming platform into an engine for sports betting. Toby and Josh Simmons, a pair of twenty-something, developed Favourit to provide gamblers with live scores, statistics, social chat streams, and third party videos for their mobile bookkeeper needs.
The venture earns money through advertisements on-site, but the Simmons brothers have been collecting seed money to expand into the foreign market.
Favourit already allows virtual punters from over 70 countries to sign in. Signing up is allowed through their Luxbet, Sportsbet, Google, Yahoo!, Twitter, or Facebook accounts. According to the Wall Street Journal, Favourit has A$3.6 of the US$5.3 needed to develop mobile platforms for international expansion. Favourit’s executives hope to collect the resources to launch an Android app, which is a follow-up to an iOS launch earlier this year.
Once a player registers using their social networking, search engine, or online bookmaker account, they start competing against friends and online acquaintances. For most mobile gamers, bets are made using “Favourit Caps”, a virtual currency.
Success and failure is charted using BetIQ, so a leaderboard is established using the BetIQ ranking system. Their TipTracker algorithm charts betting, which includes games like NBA basketball, English Premier League football, and professional tennis. While the bulk of gaming is done using virtual currency, between 10% and 15% of players are real money gambling in the UK using Sportsbet and Australia using Luxbet.
Social gambling is growing by leaps every year. Industry giant Zynga is launching a real money site in the United Kingdom, while the biggest company in traditional online gambling, BWIN.Party Digital Entertainment, is claiming it soon will invest up to $50,000,000 American in an attempt to build a social games studio by 2015.
Even gambling interests in the United States, which have been moribund in recent years, are considering reversing policies of the past. In particular, the State of New Jersey is pledging to legalize and regulate online gambling in defiance of the U.S. federal government. New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, is seeking to reverse a decision of the 1990’s which would have made an exception for New Jersey, as it did for three other U.S. states. For those unaware of the complexities of US gambling laws, New Jersey lawmakers dragged their feet back in the Nineties and lost out on 15 years of Internet gaming tax revenues.
Morgan Stanley predicts the social gambling industry might expand up to US$2.5 billion in the near-future, so the efforts of a local Australian company could help keep Australian gaming money in the country, while drawing in the revenues of foreign players, as well. Much of the growth is expected to be in the Asian gaming market, for which Favourit could be well-placed.
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