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App makes friendly sports bets pay off

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Hanging out at your favorite sports bar could soon be a rewarding experience, thanks to a new smartphone app from a Boston startup.

Spogo, available at no charge for Apple Inc. ‘s iPhone, lets users win rewards like free appetizers and discounted drinks by correctly answering questions about sporting events. Users get a listing of upcoming baseball, basketball, hockey or football games, and a supply of “points” to wager. Now the user can pick a game and start betting points on various aspects of the contest. For instance, you could bet 100 points that Jon Lester will pitch more than five innings, or that Tom Brady will not throw an interception. Each accurate guess adds to the player’s point total. Spogo also works during the games. Users can answer a stream of real-time questions about the contest, like whether the Patriots will go for it on 4th-and-1.

“While fantasy sports kind of engage fans between games, we look to engage them during the game,” said Spogo co-founder Andrew Vassallo.

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The points can be redeemed for rewards at about 60 Boston-area venues that have partnered with Spogo. The company is also active in New York City and Providence, and hopes to expand nationwide. Vassallo said that merchants love Spogo, because users tend to stick around and buy more food and drink. Bars and restaurants pay Spogo to participate in the program; the company also plans to add on-screen ads targeted to sports fans.

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