Mobile gambling hits UK

But will it tempt Lotto-weary Brits?

Today sees the launch of The Mobile Lottery, the UK's first opportunity to squander your hard-earned cash via your mobile phone.

The initiative is the brainchild of Charles Cohen - he of Beenz fame - and offers the chance to win up to £1,000 instantly for a £1 stake.

The Mobile Lottery is pitching itself as a direct rival to the National Lottery, so there's got to be a bit of charity involved. Indeed, 20p of every £1 stake will benefit one of ten worthy causes. You must be over sixteen, own a WAP or Java-enabled handset and hold a credit card to play.

Mr Cohen has high hopes for the new venture: "We are launching a 21st century scratch card which we're confident will take the UK lottery market by storm. The logic is clear - people love playing the lottery and the nation loves their mobile phones."

Well, it's certainly true that most Brits would have to be surgically separated from their mobiles, but enthusiasm for the National Lottery has been dwindling for some time. Despite Camelot's feeble efforts to revitalise the product - including renaming the main lottery draw "Lotto", an inspired piece of rebranding - revenues continue to fall.

Of course part of the problem for Camelot is that the chances of winning the Lotto jackpot are around 15,000,000 to 1, meaning that you're more likely to get hit by an asteroid during a coversation with Elvis Presley who you bumped into while on a hot date with Claudia Schiffer. The Mobile Lottery claims a better than one-in-five chance of winning something, so it remains to be seen whether its imaginatively-entitled "Slotto", "Blingo" and "Dealite" games will offer an attractive alternative Lotto-weary punters.

This is how it works

If you're interested in playing the Mobile Lottery, this is how you go about it:

"A straightforward registration process and then access to the games is provided through The Mobile Lottery's strategic marketing partner, T-Mobile, via its T-Zones Wap Portal. In addition, T-Mobile customers and those from other networks will also be able to play The Mobile Lottery by sending a short code text message to 64646, after which they will receive automated connection settings. The once-only process will take no more than a few minutes to complete.

"Once registered, The Mobile Lottery player will have a choice of playing online via WAP technology or downloading a Java version onto their handset. Three exciting and compelling game formats will be available from launch, with more planned. Every £1 play offers multiple chances to win, with winners informed immediately of their success.

"Prize money won via The Mobile Lottery will be credited to each user's Mobile Lottery account, for re-use on further plays or taken as a cash prize on demand." ®

Sponsored: 10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity