Image Credit: Live-Bet Sports
Game veteran Louis Castle is launching a game dubbed Live-Bet, a free-to-play web app that enables players to bet virtual currency on live football games. In the Live-Bet app, players predict what’s going to happen in a football game, and then they find out immediately if they guess right or not.
The HTML5 web app is launching just in time for the Super Bowl. It isn’t 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 it hundreds of times in a single football game. Life-Bet measures immediately how competitive you are on the leaderboards versus your friends.
Tens of millions of people tune into football games, especially for the Super Bowl, which will air on Sunday, Feb. 1. And lots of those players say they would support legislation to legalize gambling on the NFL. But Live-Bet doesn’t have to wait for that legalization since you don’t win real money in the game.
“I chose to do the free-to-play space because I believe that a lot of people will enjoy this experience but are not likely to be gamblers,” Castle told GamesBeat.
The startup, Live-Bet Sports in Las Vegas, is headed by former Westwood Studios game veteran Louis Castle. The app can resolve the wagers in real time thanks to technology from Metric Gaming, a Las Vegas company that supplies the real-time tracking technology not only for Live-Bet Sports but also for real-money gambling companies in Europe. Castle is the chairman of Metric Gaming, and he also runs Live-Bet Sports.
Live-Bet is a free-to-play, play-by-play live sports-betting platform that gives players bragging rights. Players who are on top of the leaderboards can win real-money giveaways. Players are given enough free currency to enter entry-level tournaments, and they can earn their way into bigger tournaments where the giveaways are bigger.
Metric Gaming has created analytics, and it uses human/professional odds makers. The HTML5 app runs on iOS and Android devices, including smartphones, tablets, and web browsers. Players can log in via Facebook. But there isn’t a specific iOS or Android app yet since the company decided not to release an app for just a single football game yet.
The company has raised $700,000 in funding, and it has another $300,000 committed against a $3 million valuation, Castle said. The 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. Those 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 “true odds” driven by an analytics engine and odds maker.
The data scored at live events is fed into Metric Gaming’s analytics engine, which offers a human market maker bets they can show to players in real time. Bellwether’s social-casino platform broadcasts the bets to mobile devices of all kinds using HTML5.
Castle said that he saw a demo of Metric Gaming’s technology, and he was intrigued at how it could make sports more fun to watch.
“I saw the entertainment potential, giving me an experience that makes me lean into the screen,” Castle said. “You get a constantly engaged feeling.”
Castle has more than 30 years of experience in video games. He was a co-founder of Westwood Studios, a general manager of Electronic Arts’ Black Box Studios, and the CEO of Instant Action. He served as a general manager at Zynga and was a longtime board member of Shuffle Master. He then served as chief strategy officer for Shuffle Master before orchestrating the company’s sale to Bally in 2014. He does consulting in both video game and casino gaming.
Metric Gaming has 25 full-time employees and 60 contractors. Live-Bet has five people.
“We can do other sports besides football, but we are not announcing any yet,” Castle said.