London-listed gaming technology provider GameAccount Network said Wednesday that it has been awarded a patent by the US Patent Office for its iBridge Framework which enables the integration of an internet gaming system with a land-based casino reward points program.

GameAccount said that the patent strengthens its position in the US market by granting “unique intellectual property rights” over the mechanisms by which an internet gaming experience is converged with land-based casino gaming.

Dermot Smurfit, CEO of GameAccount Network, said: “Developing sustainable competitive advantage in the US through intellectual property protection represents delivery of one of our objectives set at the time of our IPO.”

The iBridge Framework module extension for the supplier’s GameSTACK Internet Gaming System now offers a range of rewards points’ incentives to a casino’s customers, and helps to deliver a converged online-to-offline experience to increase visitation to the conjoined casino property.

It can be connected to various proprietary and third party casino management systems and their loyalty club programs, the company said. GameAccount has already linked GameSTACK with five different types of CMS systems used by US casinos, including Foxwoods' proprietary CMS and Konami's SYNKROS CMS.

Rewards points can be awarded to customers based on their diverse online activities including registering, depositing, purchasing and gaming, with points used in the casino to redeem for goods and services or additional free gaming.

According to GameAccount, more than 50m US casino customers are estimated to hold one or more reward cards used to accumulate rewards points redeemed inside casino properties, such as Caesars’ popular Total Rewards programme.

“The patent further demonstrates the strength of our offering and validates our position as a key player in the market,” continued Smurfit. “It also represents significant progress towards our stated objective of growing our business through opportunities in the US.

“We believe that this step will enhance our US offering and build upon the already excellent relationships we have developed with leading US casino brands. We look forward to making the patented software designs available for licensing in due course.”

GameAccount’s chief operating officer Simon Knock added: “We are very pleased to have our innovative casino management system integration framework recognized by the US Patent Office. Securing this patent adds incremental strength to our enterprise solution which is designed to meet the diverse needs of US casino operators looking to move online in advance of or consequent to iGaming regulation.”

Shares in GameAccount Network plc (Co. Data) (AIM:GAME) were trading uop 1.20 per cent to 84.50 pence per share in London in trading Wednesday.

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