UK gamblers are sending out an SMS

What are the odds online phone betting will find favour with UK punters?

What are the odds online phone betting will find favour with UK punters?

European m-commerce pioneer 12Snap has joined forces with Coral to offer online phone betting with SMS confirmation on standard mobiles. A 12Snap spokesman said: "This is aimed at the casual better - inveterate betters tend not to have credit cards. But, if you're in the pub, or watching at home and fancy a bet - you can do it. "And, if you're using a debit card, you can do it right away. Credit cards take 24 hours to confirm." Simon Claire, Coral spokesman, said: "It's for the man on the street with a mobile. 3G and Palm phones, they're the future. Now everyone has a chance. We launched a WAP betting channel last year, but this voice recognition channel is unique." Punters phone in to register, then they phone to place a bet working through a menu using 12Snap's voice recognition system and receive a confirmation of their bet on SMS. They also get SMS messages telling them whether they've won or lost and the state of their account. Coral has 100,000 registered customers on its internet service, Eurobet, which raised revenues of £246m for the six months ending 1 April 2001. This represented about 40 per cent of Coral's revenues for the period. The UK bookie has been involved in telephone betting since betting shops were legalised and currently has 860 shops and 100,000 registered customers. 12Snap, based in Munich, launched its UK operations last December to offer ecommerce through voice, SMS and WAP over Vodafone.