Customers of the Philadelphia Park Phonebet system can now use the Internet to make wagers.
Greenwood Racing, which owns the Pennsylvania racetrack, has unveiled "Phonebet.com," a Web site for computerized betting. Users can watch live odds, the live race feed, and make bets simply by using their mouse.
"We believe we offer the largest and most progressive phone betting system in the country," said Jim Gagliano, Greenwood's vice president and general manager. He said development of Phonebet.com was done in conjunction with the company Infotext, which was founded by Bill Hogwood, one of the founding partners of Greenwood Racing and founder of The Racing Network, which suspended operations this year.
"It took more than a year to develop," Gagliano said of the Internet betting system. "We'd been doing (offline) testing on the system, and last week it was ready to go. We intend to spend about $100,000 in southeastern Pennsylvania and market the heck out of it."
Account-holders can continue to use the traditional method of dialing Phonebet's 800 number and speaking with an operator, but they will incur a $1.50 service charge. Last year, Greenwood instituted an automated process, whereby customers could punch in their bets using the keypad on their telephone and be spared the $1.50 charge.
Earlier this year, Greenwood debuted "Voicebet," which allows customers to speak to a computer via their telephone, again without a $1.50 charge.