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Vicky Nolan

IQ Corp Introduces WAP Betting Service

5 June 2000

A Tasmania-licensed interactive gaming company called IQ Corporation is hoping to conquer the European WAP market by becoming the only wagering site operator to offer a WAP-only betting service. Unlike its few competitors, IQ Corp has no land-based or Internet betting services. The new site launched over the weekend.

Why WAP? According to research firm Durlacher, more than 200 million WAP users will access information via their mobile phone by 2003. During that same time, Durlacher estimates that the European m-commerce market will be worth 23,570 million Euros (roughly $22,123 million.)

The WAP market is wide open too. Only a very few mobile betting services are available now, including one offered by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Coral's bookmaking service Eurobet, which launched mobile betting in the U.K. just last week.

IQ Corp Chief Operating Officer Ed Dale isn't worried about competition from Eurobet. He welcomes it, in fact, because there are so few companies providing WAP betting services. He compared it to betting shops and current Internet betting services, saying that there are plenty of punters in search of a bookmaker. "What we're looking at is developing something new, something that wasn't possible before," Dale explained.

IQ Corps's first offering is a fixed-odds betting service directed at bettors in Europe, where according to Dale, "the market and the infrastructure is best." Dale sees the ease and convenience as being one of the largest factors to the company's likely success. The service will be available anywhere the phone can be used, he added, while the betting focus will be on European sports, especially soccer.

Dale called WAP betting a more "discreet betting medium"--something that can be done without disrupting others with voice instruction or needing a computer with an Internet connection. "Customers can sit at a bar or at a game and can make a bet," he explained.

Along with the more common lines offered on European sporting events, IQ will also offer spec bets (wagers on events within an event), which Dale says are probably the fastest growing type of wagering He believes that WAP will contribute to this growth by allowing punters to place or change bets based on what they see at the game.

IQ Corp will follow the fixed-odds service with a person-to-person betting site. "We're working on the engine, which should be available within the next three months," Dale said. "This will very much be a global play, the terms will be more easily understood by a wide number of punters. We'll create markets around special events using terms that worldwide punters are used to. We'll create a new betting market by building a community."

Whether that will include American punters is questionable. The company will watch the U.S. legal situation closely before making a decision.

Person-to-person betting is a new version of sports betting, one that leaves out the bookmaker. IQ won't be holding the book, so it won't need to deal in margins. Instead, the winning punters will probably pay a 2 1/2 percent transaction fee.

Why make the winner pay? It seemed to be the best option for the site's planners--since the loser is already suffering the pangs of loss--although this solution may change when the new service becomes available.

IQ Corporation's Internet site,, is used solely for account management. Before playing, customers need to set up an account on the site and can use typical payment options, including credit cards, check and debit cards.

While IQ Corp is among a tiny minority of companies to offer WAP betting services, don't be surprised when more names are added to the roll. Already, Ladbrokes and Sportingbet, among others, have announced intentions to head the WAP way.

IQ Corp Introduces WAP Betting Service is republished from
Vicky Nolan
Vicky Nolan