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US Racing "Rush To Provide Mobile Applications"
In the US, the International Simulcast Conference in Arizona was told “mobile phone technology is becoming an increasingly important asset for horse racing, as more applications are developed for customers who want to gather data & wager with greater convenience” reported bloodhorse.com. Representatives from “some of the innovation leaders in the field - Equibase, TrackMaster, United Tote & Del Mar Thoroughbred Club - talked about what's been developed so far & why the future is promising for such applications”.
- DMTC senior vice president for development Josh Rubenstein noted that “experts predict hand-held devices such as the iPhone & iPad (simple to use & increasingly available as costs decrease) will be bigger than desktop computers within 5 years”. As a result, Del Mar developed a “one-stop website” for mobile device users “that can be accessed on-track through wireless hotspots & provides an easy-to-use wagering platform”. The site “continuously updates calendar information, with links to the social networking sites Facebook & Twitter, and provides basic track information such as scratchings, will-pays & live video, as well as replays”. He declared bluntly: “The more we can educate people, the more they are going to bet.” Rubenstein also said, beginning next season, an application will be available “to allow people to make food & beverage & gift-shop purchases, buy reserved seats & even pay for parking”.
- TrackMaster vice president for sales & marketing Jim Vanderbosch noted that 263 million people or “83% of your customers have cell phones. In 2 years, 55% of those customers will have a smart phone.” He said TrackMaster “has developed an application for such users that provides key statistics for making race selections”. It is designed “for both the advanced player & the newcomer using a simplified format”. Customers “can download just the tracks they want & can have that information within 10 seconds”. He also said: “There are 27 million tablets in 2011 & that should double next year. The number will top 80 million by 2015.”
- Equibase vice president of sales Victor Espinosa said his company is engaged in “making much of its data available to smart phone & electronic tablet users through its Today's Racing application. Entries, results, scratchings, replays, race charts & other stats that can be found on its regular Equibase web page are included. On Mobile Equibase.com, people can follow all of their favourite tracks.”
- United Tote resident Ben Murr said his company has also developed its own “mobile application for on-track use FastBet Mobile, which works with iPhones, iPads & Android tablet applications”. He said the use of wireless connections for a mobile wagering application “is important because it can enhance the customer’s experience by keeping them out of betting lines. The sky is the limit as far as this is concerned.”