If you already rage when losing online game matches (with nothing really tangible on the line), imagine the way you might feel if the outcome of the bout cost you real cash.
The Ottawa Citizen details the business strategy of Titan Gaming Inc.—a company backed by $1.0 million in venture capital—that plans to allow gamers to wager on the outcome of online contests. Native Ottawan Francisco Diaz-Mitoma created the system's platform, which will allow participants in an online contest to pony up their own money, before a game starts, in order to create the prize pool. Titan would make its living by taking a cut of the winnings.
Diaz-Mitoma moved to India in order for cheap assistance in developing the technology. The entrepreneur is hedging his bet that gambling on games based on skill is legal, which Royal Mounted Police Constable Bill Casey seemed to agree, stating that there doesn’t seem to be any laws prohibiting wagering on a game of skill, like video golf for example, over the Internet.
Casey indicated, however, that the company could run afoul of individual provinces, which may not allow such activity or might require Titan to be licensed.
A notice on the Titan website claims, “Yes, skill gaming is legal in most of the United States, Europe and Asia,” and that “Titan's proprietary platform automatically deals with legal and jurisdiction issues so that developers can focus on building an entertaining game experience.”
Titan also boasts ex-Microsoft executive John Maffei as its Chief Executive Officer. Maffei’s chief role at Microsoft was licensing video content for use with Xbox Live.
While eventually reaching Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Wii online users is a future goal for Titan, Diaz-Mitoma said that no deals were currently in place with any of the console manufacturers.