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Best of Chris Sieroty

Gaming Guru

Chris Sieroty
 

Fixed-odds wagering takes off, but not in Vegas

5 April 2011

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- It's a different style of wagering than what's being offered by casinos or sports books along the Strip or in downtown Las Vegas.

It's known as financial fixed-odds wagering and lets you bet on your belief that a financial instrument -- an index or currency or even a stock -- will finish above or below a predetermined market level.

For example, Wynn Resorts Ltd. shares lost 5 cents, or 0.04 percent, to close Monday at $132.96. A gambler or investor might decide to place $100 on Wynn Resorts shares closing today $2 above Monday's close.

Financial fixed-odds wagering also allows for bets on the New York Stock Exchange, especially around market-moving news events such as interest rate announcements by the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee. The technology lets customers bet in-running on financial markets, including commodities, and unlike spread betting, customer risk is limited to their stake.

If this sounds similar to being able to bet in game during certain sporting events, it is. The technology was developed seven years ago by Cantor Gaming and Wagering Ltd., a subsidiary of the financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald L.P.

But financial fixed-odds wagering is illegal in Nevada, even though state gaming regulators recently revised the rules to allow wagering in race and sports books to include events beyond sporting events.

No formal requests have been scheduled or gone before the Nevada Gaming Control Board or the state's Gaming Commission.

Although this kind of betting is available only in regulated gaming markets outside the United States, Cantor Gaming and Wagering has signed another deal for it with an online gaming company. The company, which has experienced 80 percent growth in the number of wagers placed on the service in the last year, signed an agreement with 32Red Bet Sportsbook & Racebook, a Gibraltar-based bookmaker.

The deal calls for Cantor to provide financial fixed-odds betting on 32Red's website. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The new odds provide wagering opportunities for 32Red customers on a wide range of financial markets, including currencies, commodities and global indexes.

"This collaboration demonstrates the continuously widening appeal of financial fixed-odds betting," said Lee Amaitis, chief executive officer of Cantor Gaming and Wagering.

Robert Hubbell, managing director for global communications and marketing at Cantor Fitzgerald, said Amaitis is chief executive of the London-based Cantor Gaming and Wagering but it is separate from Cantor Gaming.

Cantor Gaming, which is headquartered in Las Vegas and regulated by Nevada gaming officials, operates race and sports books at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Tropicana Las Vegas and M Resort.
Fixed-odds wagering takes off, but not in Vegas is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.