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Gambling veteran Louis Castle is launching a game dubbed Live-Bet, a free web application that allows players to bet virtual currency on live football matches. In the Live-Bet application, players predict what will happen in a football match, and then they immediately find out whether they guessed correctly or not.
The HTML5 web application is launched just in time for the Super Bowl. It’s not a real money gambling app, but it could be used for that at some point in the future. In this social sports game, you bet virtual currency and you can do so hundreds of times in a single soccer match. Life-Bet immediately measures how competitive you are on the leaderboards against your friends.
Tens of millions of people watch football games, especially for the Super Bowl, which airs on Sunday, February 1. And many of those players say they would support legislation to legalize NFL gambling. But Live-Bet does not have to wait for this legalization since you do not win real money in the game.
“I chose to do the free play space because I think a lot of people will enjoy the experience but probably won’t be gamers,” Castle told GamesBeat.
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The startup, Live-Bet Sports in Las Vegas, is led by former Westwood Studios gambling veteran Louis Castle. The app can resolve bets in real time using technology from Metric Gaming, a Las Vegas company that provides real-time tracking technology not only for Live-Bet Sports but also for real-money gaming companies in Europe. Castle is the chairman of Metric Gaming and he also runs Live-Bet Sports.
Live-Bet is a free live sports betting platform that gives players bragging rights. Players who top the leaderboards can win real money gifts. Players receive enough free currency to participate in entry-level tournaments, and they can work their way into bigger tournaments where the giveaways are bigger.
Metric Gaming has created analytics and uses human/professional odds makers. The HTML5 app works on iOS and Android devices, including smartphones, tablets, and web browsers. Players can log in via Facebook. But there is no specific iOS or Android app yet since the company has decided not to release an app for a single football game yet.
The company has raised $700,000 in funding and an additional $300,000 has been committed against a valuation of $3 million, Castle said. Investors include Castle, Metric Gaming, Bellwether (a social casino platform maker) and other private investors.
Rivals include makers of fantasy football apps or live event apps. These include FanDuel, Draft Kings and King of the Hill Sports. King of the Hill Sports offers a similar live betting concept, but Live-Bet offers what it calls “real odds” driven by an analytics engine and odds builder.
Data scored at live events is fed into Metric Gaming’s analytics engine, which offers a human market maker bets that he can show players in real time. Bellwether’s social casino platform streams bets to mobile devices of all kinds using HTML5.
Castle said he saw a demonstration of Metric Gaming’s technology and was intrigued by how it could make the sport more fun to watch.
“I saw the entertainment potential, giving me an experience that made me lean into the screen,” Castle said. “You get a constantly engaged feeling.”
Castle has over 30 years of experience in video games. He was co-founder of Westwood Studios, managing director of Electronic Arts’ Black Box Studios, and CEO of Instant Action. He was CEO of Zynga and a longtime board member of Shuffle Master. He then served as Chief Strategy Officer for Shuffle Master before orchestrating the sale of the company to Bally in 2014. He consults in video games and casino games.
Metric Gaming has 25 full-time employees and 60 contractors. Live-Bet has five people.
“We can do other sports besides football, but we’re not announcing any yet,” Castle said.
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