Betware seeking US lottery deals


Icelandic firm has big ambitions

Hot on the heels of its agreement to distribute Microgaming online gambling products in May this year , the Icelandic firm Betware is seeking a contract to deploy online gambling products for the Massachusetts State Lottery.

The company has chosen Massachusetts as its first US business target due to its technical expertise and innovative thinking, said Betware chief executive Stefan Hrafnkelsson, adding that he has met with lottery management and state lawmakers to further the project and introduce a pilot scheme to test the concept.

'We believe they are the best fit,' Hrafnkelsson said, pointing out that internet gambling would be an effective way for the Lottery to expand its customer base to include a younger generation of gamblers.

Spokesmen for the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission confirmed the discussions, which took place in March this year, but cautioned that the Lottery does not have any plans to move forward with the concept at this time.

Hrafnkelsson said he expects that some sort of approval would also be needed from the state Legislature.

Betware, founded 14 years ago, develops software that facilitates online lotteries in a number of countries, including Spain and Canada. The company's technology also can allow bets to be placed via cell phones or Internet TV.

In a statement this week, Betware noted that the US Congress included an online gambling exemption for state lotteries in a 2006 law that bars U.S. banks from allowing credit card payments for online betting. The company emphasised that its technology would ensure that anyone placing a bet in the Massachusetts Lottery would be doing so within the state's borders.

Earlier this month New Hampshire state lottery management backed away and postponed a proposal to introduce online lottery games after state lawmakers expressed reservations.

In May this year Isle Of Man-based online gambling software provider Microgaming announced a deal licensing Betware to distribute a suite oif some 85 quality games virtual casino games to international state lotteries.

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