The most difficult thing about placing a sports bet isnâ€™t picking the winner -- itâ€™s getting to the sportsbook.
For fans traveling to Vegas, getting to the sportsbook by 9 a.m. for a college football game or 10 a.m. for an NFL game after a night of carousing is tough. I canâ€™t count the number of times Iâ€™ve missed the starts of early games because I was still sleeping in my hotel room.
Then there are the times where youâ€™re waiting for your 4 p.m. business meeting and you realize that the early basketball games are about to start. (Yes, some of us have actual business meetings in Vegas.)
And even for people living in Nevada, journeying through traffic to a sportsbook can be a pain.
Fortunately, Leroyâ€™s Sportsbook has the solution to those problems: Placing bets on your smartphones.
In September, Leroyâ€™s launched the countryâ€™s first mobile phone application for sports betting. The app, which currently works only on BlackBerry devices, allows people to place bets with Leroyâ€™s Sportsbook as long theyâ€™re in the state of Nevada when theyâ€™re placing the bet.
The app has been so successful that Leroyâ€™s has submitted a Droid app to the Nevada Gaming Control Board that does the same thing.
â€śThe (BlackBerry) app far exceeded our expectations,â€ť says John English, Leroyâ€™s senior vice president. â€śWe branched off into development of Android models because it is quickly overtaking the marketplace. Everything is working better than expected.â€ť
English expects Leroyâ€™s iPhone app will come next.
Hereâ€™s how the Leroyâ€™s app works: If youâ€™re visiting (or living in Nevada), you have to visit a Leroyâ€™s Sportsbook location to set up an account. (Leroyâ€™s has 77 locations in Nevada, but only 34 can currently set up mobile betting accounts.) If youâ€™re visiting the strip in Las Vegas, the Riviera and Saharaâ€™s are the places to go to get an account.
To set up the account, youâ€™ll need your BlackBerry, identification and money to fund account. After the account is set up, theyâ€™ll send you the BlackBerry app.
â€śOnce the application is on your phone, you can bet just like you can at any sportsbook in the state a Nevada,â€ť English says.
For non-Nevada residents, the Leroyâ€™s mobile account is only temporary -- lasting three or four days. If you run out of money â€“- maybe that should be when you run out of money -- you can call Leroyâ€™s up and drop more money into your account using a credit card. In the future, you might be able to use your wireless phone account or an e-wallet to fund your account.
â€śWeâ€™re trying to make every convenience available to our customers,â€ť English says. â€śWhether or not the Gaming Board will approve is up to the regulators.â€ť
And whether or not you sleep in is up to you.