06/26/2004 12:00AM

Youbet plans wireless wagering


Youbet.com, the online wagering company, plans to launch a wireless device on July 21 that will allow account-holders to wager from anywhere in the United States, according to an official for the company who is developing the device.

The handheld device, called Youbet Anywhere, will allow a Youbet subscriber to place wagers wirelessly on any track offered by Youbet, according to Sean Conley, the brand manager for the device. Youbet will charge users $19.99 a month to use the device, Conley said.

The device uses an interface similar to that found on Youbet.com's website. Users can place bets and download program data, but expanded past-performance information will not initially be available. Additionally, unlike the website, users won't be able to see live streaming video, Conley said, although plans are to move to streaming video in the future.

"I wouldn't be surprised for that to happen in the next six months," Conley said.

The cost for the device has not been set, but Conley said current prices for similar machines run at least $500. Users will also have to subscribe to a wireless service provider, Conley said.

* Youbet has joined the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a "special member," the two groups announced Friday. The membership will allow Youbet to take part in NTRA promotions and will align the company with the NTRA's lobbying efforts.