TAIKAI – THE NEW SOCIAL BETTING GAME Betfair and Jadestone partner in a unique service The Swedish online game services provider Jadestone has developed and launched a new social betting game with UK betting giant Betfair as its partner. The game, branded TaiKai, is available on Betfair’s site and it is claimed to represent a new gambling genre: tournament betting.  Developed by Jadestone from a Betfair concept, TaiKai combines Betfair’s successful person-to-person betting with social web functions inspired by the likes of MySpace and Facebook. Jadestone was chosen for its experience in online game development after a rigorous selection process, and work on the project started in mid-2007, a company spokesman revealed.  TaiKai enables people to engage in friendly competition with each other, giving them a chance to show their sports knowledge and win money. Players pick a tournament from a range of sports and leagues, place virtual bets using TaiKai Dollars and pay the buy-in that forms the prize pot. Players win by accumulating the most virtual profit by the end of the tournament. Along the way, players can customise their avatars, review each others bets and banter to their hearts content. TaiKai can be played for fun or for money. In addition to playing against friends, players can also play against other TaiKai members in public tournaments.  "This is a truly exciting new game for Jadestone, for Betfair and for the wide audience of sports bettors and sports enthusiasts across the Internet", said Robert Henrysson, CEO of Jadestone. "TaiKai represents the coming together of online betting and social sports game playing. It provides a fun, dynamic and rich game playing experience today and we are all very confident that it will support a rapidly growing social and competitive online community".  The two Betfair directors who took TaiKai from concept to launching the business, Sajeeve Bahl and Roger Ahn, jointly commented:  "The launch of the TaiKai tournament betting product is the culmination of more than 12 months of thorough analysis, complex programme management, intense game production and customer research. We are very excited and very proud to have reached our goals for launch and we are extremely happy with the partnership with Jadestone. We think TaiKai will really take off. It’s a great product for all people who think that they know a sport, have some like-minded friends, and want to compete with them to prove their opinion and win some money".  The game is available on Betfair’s TaiKai.com site.

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