Sheffield firm targets e-gambling sector

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Former England and Sheffield Wednesday star Chris Waddle has teamed up with a city-based IT company to raise money for grassroots football.

The initiative revolves around Football Bingo, a gambling game app developed by Aizlewood Business Centre-based company, The Virtual Corporation, whose managing director, Nathan Griffin, hopes to develop a Sheffield-based betting company on the back of the game.

Football Bingo players use their mobile phones to choose eight teams they believe will score a goal, from one day’s fixtures.

A further seven teams are added to the list randomly. Squares on the app’s electronic bingo card turn green as teams score and players whose 15 teams all score get a share of the payout.

Meanwhile, the first player to complete their card scoops a bonus pot.

A tenth of the profits from each game goes to The Chris Waddle Grassroots Football Trust Fund, which will support youth development.

Chris Waddle said: “I became the patron of this trust because it definitely hits the back of the net.

“This new grassroots fund has the sole aim of nurturing young British talent, and marks a fantastic opportunity for adult football fans to help achieve that goal while having tremendous fun. This is an ideal way for all football fans to support their club and this grassroots fund by playing today.”

Nathan Griffin said: “I have been really surprised with the viral nature of the interest in Football Bingo. People have signed up to play from Devon to Scotland.”

Mr Griffin says Virtual has a number of additional developments in mind for Football Bingo and plans to develop games based on other sports, such as ice hockey.