by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
December 4, 2008
With the growing popularity of the mobile gambling market, or WAP betting, Hop-On Inc. has jumped on the bandwagon. According to a spokesperson, the California-based cell phone dealer is looking to secure its place in the market, and seeking a software provider to host an online casino.
“Because of the overwhelming popularity of gambling in mainstream markets, the opportunity for mobile gambling is enormous,” said the spokesperson. “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 designed an online casino that WAP bettors can access using satellites, GSM/CDMA networks and Wifi. The company will provide its users with baccarat, poker, blackjack and roulette. Card games will be offered in real time, streaming live interactive feed of real dealers. The company expects to lead the casino industry in multiplayer online games, or MMO games.
Both GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) are commonly used technologies by mobile phone networks for transmitting information.
Hop-on president, Peter Michaels, claims, “With the assistance of social networks and broadband capabilities, interactive cell phone wagering will be huge. Mobile gaming is estimated to reach 12 billion in wagers by 2010. Our casino hosts will distribute prepaid game cards to players in many different jurisdictions.”
Things may not quite pan out as expected, however, as the company has not yet received a license to legally provide the online casino games. While negotiations are in progress to obtain a license from a G7 nation, nothing is written in stone.
The casino will be launched through Open Handset Alliance, through the use of an “Android Platform” phone. The phone with the software will be sold for less than $200. OPH hosts over 30 members, uncluding mobile handset makers, application developers, some mobile carriers, chip makers. The company is headed by Google (NasdaqGS).
Michaels concluded, “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.
“Hop-on is committed in bringing the latest technology to the market, the Android open platform makes Hop-on competitive in the high-end mobile phone market. This will create market value for our shareholders.”
Hop-on Inc. develops and markets wireless phones and accessories for domestic carriers. They are most well known for the development of the world’s first disposable cell phone.
The forecast for mobile gaming, as reported by High Beam research, shows that the market is expected to reach $16 billion, with the total wagers increased by more than 100%. While mobile betting, or WAP wagering has become very popular, the rollout of such services has been limit to a select few markets, such as the UK.