Leroy’s sports betting app for iPad released

American Wagering Inc.’s iPad application that lets state residents and visitors to Las Vegas place sports wagers from their tablet computer has been approved by Nevada gaming regulators and Apple Inc., a company executive said Wednesday.

The approval makes American Wagering, which operates Leroy’s Horse and Sports Place Inc., the only U.S.-based gaming company to have a sports betting application available in the iTunes app store for both the iPhone and iPad.

Vic Salerno, president and CEO of American Wagering, said the application is free to download and use; however, customers must open an account before they can bet. The company’s iPad app was released about five months after its iPhone app.

“The number of iPhone apps downloaded has surpassed the number of Android and BlackBerry apps downloaded combined,” Salerno said. “The iPhone is getting to a younger demographic (male, ages 21-40) and building and expanding the sports betting market.

“We also have a lot of women signing up to open accounts,” he said. He attributed this to women being able to place a bet on a football or basketball game without having to walk into a sports book.

Based in Las Vegas, the company introduced mobile wagering for the BlackBerry in September 2010, followed by Android phone and tablet applications in April 2011.

Salerno said the company routinely “sends out updates” of its applications. American Wagering operates 77 Leroy’s Horse and Sports Place outlets and self-service kiosks in casinos statewide.

In September, Nevada gaming regulators allowed PT’s Pubs, PT’s Gold and Sierra Gold taverns owned by Golden Gaming to use the Leroy’s sports wagering kiosks. Golden Gaming and Leroy’s share the revenue from the kiosks.

The licensing agreement expires in July 2013, which gives regulators time to study whether the devices violate gaming laws.

William Hill PLC acquired American Wagering for $18 million in April 2011. Salerno declined to predict when the merger might be placed on the agenda of the Nevada Gaming Control Board and state Gaming Commission for their approval.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

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