World Gaming – World Gaming plc, a global pioneer in I-gaming technologies, today announced the signing of a software licensing agreement with Sona Innovations Inc., a leading North American provider of secure mobile solutions, that will see the introduction of wireless applications for its most popular games, blackjack, slots and sportsbook, before the end of the year.
Under the three-year agreement with Sona, World Gaming will be deploying three games on Microsoft’s Pocket PC – expected delivery November 2001 – and Palm OS(R) – expected delivery December 2001 – built on the Sona Wireless Platform(TM).
Microsoft’s Pocket PC and Palm OS devices were chosen for World Gaming’s first wireless software suite, due to screen size and capabilities, input method, power management, network bandwidth, device memory, graphics and processor power.
“The wireless market is growing exponentially and it represents a very real opportunity for World Gaming to expand its global presence – particularly in Europe and Asia where wireless gaming is more advanced,” said Michael Aymong, CEO of World Gaming. “Wireless is an exciting new opportunity for World Gaming – enlarging our total available market and increasing revenue streams for our existing products and services.”
World Gaming selected its most popular offerings – blackjack, slot machine, and sportsbook betting for the initial wireless suite, with plans to expand in the future. The new products will tap into the users of online casinos and sports betting, which dominate up to 73 percent of the online gaming market.
A recent Datamonitor report projects that revenues from the total mobile gaming markets in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific will grow from an estimated $950 million in 2001 to $17.5 billion in 2006. The international research firm also reports that Asia Pacific is currently the wireless gaming capital of the world, with 60 million gamers.
In Europe, 41 million currently play Online Casino Singapore games on their mobile phones or PDAs, compared to 22 million in the US. By 2006, Europe will have over 150 million wireless gamers, while in the US, the number will grow to 124 million.
“Data is typically encrypted then decrypted, which has inherent security risks,” said Jeff Halloran, president and CEO of Sona Innovations. “The robust architecture of Sona’s technology is very unique, as it does not use public gateway servers and it rapidly deploys an animated presentation layer unlike any other wireless service. “Sona’s client software establishes a secure session on the Pocket PC or Palm operating platform and communicates directly with World Gaming’s servers. Through our unique end-to-end secure approach to deploying applications on handheld devices, we are able to deliver to World Gaming a wireless solution that provides the level of presentation, performance and protection the World Gaming community has come to expect. Being network carrier agnostic, Sona Innovation’s one of a kind solution becomes an immediate global platform to support World Gaming’s secure growth.”
World Gaming evaluated several vendors before choosing Sona Innovations. Sona was selected based upon the following criteria: a strong commitment to continued diligent support of World Gaming products and services, synergies of respective business models, number of wireless devices supported, ease of implementation, and security.
“Our new wireless suite of products is a plug-in solution, requiring no back-end integration, that leverages and extends existing World Gaming technologies, products and services,” said David Pasieka, COO of World Gaming. “Wireless technology is still in its infancy and continuously evolving. Standards, protocols, network and client device issues require significant and dedicated development resources. “Sona Innovations’ experience successfully delivering bullet-proof applications for the banking and brokerage industries has made the company the ideal supplier for World Gaming and has addressed our concerns over security.”