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For Casinos, Virtual Gambling Still Not Worth The Risk

According to the New York Times, Cantor Fitzgerald is helping Vegas-area casinos use localized mobile technology to make sports wagering easier. As innovative as it sounds, doing it the old-fashioned way still seems safer â€" and smarter.

Last decade poker websites fought to have real wagering, but they fell into the web of international laws, not to mention interstate ones, as well as issues with taxation and such. In recent years hardcore gamblers have turned to "offshore booking", essentially betting through overseas-based websites on American sports and entertainment.

International Game Technologies brought its popular slot machine Cleopatra to the iPhone last year, but this was for virtual coins. The only thing real was the bragging rights.

The funny part about the Cantor Fitzgerald solution is that the biggest advantage, wagering from a distance, is snubbed by users needing to be on the casino premises to play. Depending on the size of the casino, it just takes a brief walk to place a bet. I presume the casino would like to eliminate that thoughtful walk.

Yeah, that would be it. To quote the New York Times gambling article: "All of a sudden, these same people who were betting once or twice a game at the beginning of a sporting event can place wagers every minute if they want," says Anthony A. Marnell III, chief executive of the M Resort. "Having this technology changes the entire equation for everyone involved."

Greed aside, its concerning that hundreds, if not thousands of dollars are being transferred via a presumably secure Wi-Fi setup. Hackers will have a field day trying to crack it for virtual control over people's real money. Considering all the gamblers are onsite anyway, parading their money over wireless just doesn't seem worth the risk â€" something Vegas-area casinos will probably pay for sooner or later.

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