Title:
Betting-products matched bargain method and system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A betting exchange method is provided that comprises receiving offers from at least one user and using proportional calculation to determine whether the offers satisfy transaction criteria among themselves; each of said offers comprises a buyer who request (buys) a bet of an outcome or a seller who provides (sells) a bet of an outcome. The invention also provided a bet trading system comprising a receiver to receive offers from at least one user, each of said offers comprises a buyer who requests (buys) a bet of an outcome or a seller who provides (sells) a bet of an outcome; and a decision-maker uses proportional calculation to determine whether the offers satisfy transaction criteria among themselves.



Inventors:
Cheng, Tung Wan (Hong Kong, HK)
Chan, Shung Kwan (Hong Kong, HK)
Application Number:
11/780966
Publication Date:
01/22/2009
Filing Date:
07/20/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LIDDLE, JAY TRENT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TUNG WAN, CHENG (Hong Kong, HK)
Claims:
1. A method of operating a bet trading platform which comprises receiving offers from at least one user and using proportional calculation to determine whether the offers satisfy transaction criteria among themselves; each of said offers comprises a buyer who request (buys) a bet of an outcome or a seller who provides (sells) a bet of an outcome.

2. A method according to claim 1, wherein said proportional calculation comprises odds parameter.

3. A method according to claim 1, wherein said proportional calculation further comprises converting the bets by using the odds, quantities or prices as the standard to match.

4. A method according to claim 1, wherein the buyer requests (buy) a bet of an outcome from a primary or secondary market, the seller provides (sell) a bet of an outcome to a secondary market; and the proportional calculation comprises matching a portion, one or plural of bet-demand with a portion, one or plural of bet-supply.

5. A method according to claim 1, wherein said bet further comprises betting derivatives.

6. A method according to claim 1, wherein said calculation comprises bargaining together method or continuous bargain method.

7. A method according to claim 1, wherein said sellers further comprise external bookmarkers.

8. A method according to claim 1, wherein said offers comprise stop-loss orders or limit orders.

9. A method according to claim 1, further comprises generating an implied bet in respect of an outcome for the absence of one-side bets (buy or sell).

10. A method according to claim 1, comprises embedding a better price or odds in a bet request or a bet supply if the better price or odds is available and matching the requested or provided bet at the better price of odds.

11. A method according to claim 1, further comprises representing said buyer to request bets from bookmarker(s).

12. A bet trading platform system comprises: a receiver to receive offers from at least one user, each of said offers comprises a buyer who requests (buys) a bet of an outcome or a seller who provides (sells) a bet of an outcome; and a decision-maker uses proportional calculation to determine whether the offers satisfy transaction criteria among themselves.

13. A system according to claim 12, wherein proportional calculation comprises odds parameter.

14. A system according to claim 12, further comprises a storage medium for storing information.

15. A system according to claim 12, further comprises one or more interface(s) adapted for input or output between said user(s) associated with the system.

16. A system according to claim 12, further comprises a communication module for communication.

17. A system according to claim 12, further comprises a clearing house for the bet exchange settlement.

18. A machine-readable medium for storing instructions that cause the medium to comprise receiving offers from at least one user, each of said offers comprises a buyer who requests (buys) a bet of an outcome or a seller who provides (sells) a bet of an outcome; and using proportional calculation to determine whether the offers satisfy transaction criteria among themselves.

19. A machine-readable medium according to claim 18, wherein proportional calculation comprises odds parameter.

20. A machine-readable medium according to claim 18, further comprises means for generating an implied bet in respect of an outcome for the absence of one-side bets (buy or sell).

21. A machine-readable medium according to claim 18, wherein each of the bet requests or the bet supplies comprises at least one of price, odds or quantity parameters.

22. A machine-readable medium according to claim 18, wherein the machine further comprises representing said users to request bets from external bookmarker(s).

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention is related to the field of proportional bets matching, particularly but not exclusively to secondary fixed odds betting exchange.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A number of companies provide fixed odds betting services, where players can only access to one side of the market, i.e. they can only efficiently request, or “buy”, a particular outcome, for example who will win in a horse race or in a football game, to occur at odds offered by a bookmaker. The offers may change in time, but those who accept the offer place bets with the bookmaker and, if the outcome desired by the player finally occurs, the bookmaker needs to pay out. In such a scenario, the bookmaker acts as a contract provider with plurality of individual request players, each betting transaction is between bookmaker and player. Though the odds offered by the bookmaker may vary in time depending on the demand of bets, the outcome is still unknown. After the transaction is completed, the players can only wait until the final outcome occurs to realize the bets.

A number of companies provide internet back and lays services, which let two players bet on counter outcomes, any unit of backing bets is matched with respective to laying bets. Despite of the floating of the odds, it is not easy to write off the bets, whether backing or laying, directly by betting in the counter side. For example, a player cannot write off an existing bet which has backed at odds 2 to 1, with a laying bet at the market odds 3 to 1 totally, there is still some risk exposure.

Also, back and lays services always create new bets for trade, and they cannot handle the exchange of bets that already exist. Instead of selling out the existing bets, players can only write off the existing bets by creating new bets, they cannot sell the existing bets without create new bets. This inconvenience lets players difficult to manage their account.

Nowadays the flexibility of bets exchange provided by exchange market system is limited. The existing exchange market system cannot support any exchange of bets which are not selected by exchange market system, such as bets with special conditions. This will limit the growth of the market.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, a betting exchange method is provided that comprises receiving offers from at least one user and using proportional calculation to determine whether the offers satisfy transaction criteria among themselves; each of said offers comprises a buyer who request (buys) a bet of an outcome or a seller who provides (sells) a bet of an outcome. The invention also provided a bet trading system comprising a receiver to receive offers from at least one user, each of said offers comprises a buyer who requests (buys) a bet of an outcome or a seller who provides (sells) a bet of an outcome; and a decision-maker uses proportional calculation to determine whether the offers satisfy transaction criteria among themselves. The buyer requests (buy) a bet of an outcome from a primary or secondary market, the seller provides (sell) a bet of an outcome to a secondary market; and the proportional calculation comprises matching a portion, one or plural of bet-demand with a portion, one or plural of bet-supply. In addition, it can ensure the market is most efficient and having competitive prices. The bet requests and provide can include a price and odds at which the bet is to be placed, which can promote price or odds competition and improve the efficiency of the market. If a better price or odds is available to the user, the system will match the bet at the better price or better odds. The system can represent the players to request bets from external bookmarker(s).

The system can further comprise means for automatically generating an implied bet in respect of an outcome for the absence of one-side bets (buy or sell). This can generate arbitrage opportunities and also allow bets to be filled automatically by the system even though there may be more explicit odds in one side of the market than the other. This function can improve the liquidity of the market.

The present invention has the notable improvement that a user-friendly and convenience system and method which allow the sell of existing bets without creating a new bets and use proportional calculation matching to improve the liquidity of the market.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To provide a more complete understanding of the present invention and features and advantages thereof, reference is made to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying figures, wherein like reference numerals represent like parts, in which:

FIG. 1 is a simplified flowing chart of a secondary bet trading market platform; and

FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram of a secondary bet trading market platform.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 2, the system includes a server to support the exchange market. The bet trading system is implemented in software and users are permitted to request or provide a bet of an outcome, the matching means match respective bets in proportion by the basis of odds. The operation of the bet trading system is explained in detail below for different types.

Referring to FIG. 1, a flow diagram shows the steps required for the betting service provided by the betting system. A player wishes to use the betting exchange service provided by the bet trading system accesses the system with his usual Internet access mechanism, telephone access mechanism, or any other channel access the system. If the player is validated, then the offers are permitted.

Only permitted users offer the trading system, subject to ensuring that there is sufficient credit or bets in their accounts. Guests access to the system are given “read only” authority to the system's statistics and data report. This allows them to follow the market information closely. In addition, they can access to a real time exchange market that demonstrates how the trading system works.

An account is opened for each player. Money or bets can be deposited into the account before taking place in exchange. Once the account has been opened, the player can login with their ID and password.

In certain embodiments of the present invention, the trading system is a trading platform that facilitates the purchase and sale of one or more betting instruments. Trading platform is operable to receive and to process requests associated with transactions related to betting instrument. A trading platform may be a computer, a server, a management center, a single workstation, or a headquartering office for any person, business, or entity that seeks to manage the trading of betting instrument. Accordingly, the trading platform may include any suitable hardware, software, personnel, devices, components, elements, or objects that may be utilized or implemented to achieve the operations and functions of an administrative body or a supervising entity that manages or administers a trading environment.

The trading platform may be owned and operated by any suitable entity having the authority to operate in the distribution of betting instrument. For example, the trading platform may be a recognized bet trading system. A connection may be presented between the trading platform and any other bets exchange system (e.g. betfair, betdaq, William hills), whereby information associated with any transaction that is proposed by a buyer or a seller is relayed to an appropriate exchange to consummate the transaction. Thus, the trading platform may operate as a proxy between a buyer/seller and a corresponding exchange that can record and confirm a tendered purchase or sale of betting instruments. Alternatively and where authorized, the trading platform may perform such trade execution functions independently. The trading platform may also deliver real-time odds data to buyer or seller in order to provide pertinent bet information to be used to make decisions as to whether to purchase or to sell betting instruments. This relay of bet information may be performed via price/odds reporting/dissemination element or any other suitable elements. Data, such as pricing information, odds information, outcome, terms, maturity data, historical quotes, or moving averages, for example, may be provided to buyers and sellers. Other bet data may also be readily delivered and based on particular needs. In order to deliver information that is accurate and timely, price reporting/dissemination elements may be coupled to a corresponding bet exchange communications link that carries such bet data. Alternatively, reporting/dissemination element may gather such critical information from any appropriate location (e.g. a server operable to deliver real-time information to investors) such that the desired bet data is delivered to buyers or sellers.

Communications network is a communicative platform operable to exchange data or information between buyers/sellers and the trading platform. The communications network represents an internet architecture in a particular embodiment of the present invention, which provides buyers or sellers with the ability to execute trades or to initiate transactions to be delivered to an authorized exchange trading platform. Alternatively, the communications network could be a plain old telephone system (POTS), which buyers or sellers could use to perform the similar operations or functions. Such transactions may be assisted by a broker associated with trading platform or manually keyed into a telephone or other suitable equipments in order to request a transaction to be executed. In other embodiments, communications system could be any packet data network (PDN) offering a communications interface or exchange between any two nodes in betting system. The communications network may alternatively be any local area network (LAN), metropolitan area network (MAN), wide area network (WAN), wireless local area network (WLAN), wireless local area network (WLAN), mobile network, satellite network, virtual private network (VPN), intranet, or any other appropriate architecture or system that facilitates communications in a network or telephonic environment.

Buyers and sellers are clients, customers, prospective players, or entities wish to access or to initiate a communication with the trading platform delivered via communications network. Alternatively, buyer and seller may represent any device or object that seeks to initiate a communication on behalf of another entity or element, such as a program, a database, or any other component, device, element, or object capable of initiating a voice or a data exchange within investment system. Data, as used herein in this document, refer to any type of numeric, voice, or script data, or any other suitable information in any appropriate format that may be communicated from one point to another. In an example embodiment, buyers and sellers are investors who are interested in purchasing or shorting betting instruments. Buyers and sellers may also simply seek to review performance characteristics of betting instruments or to ascertain specific details related to the outcome contained therein.

Each of buyer and seller may be provided with an end user interface which comprises a central processing unit (CPU). The end user interface may be employed by either a buyer or a seller in order to initiate transactions or to perform bet-monitoring functions within investment system. Alternatively, such an end user interface may be replaced with any other suitable interface or object that facilitates communications between buyer, seller, and any other element within investment system, such as: a cellular telephone, an electronic notebook, a personal digital assistant (PDA), or any other suitable device (wireless or otherwise), component, or element capable of accessing one or more elements within investment system. The end user interface may also comprise any suitable interface for a human user such as a display, a microphone, a keyboard, or any other appropriate terminal equipment according to particular configurations and arrangements. In addition, the end user interface may be a unique element designed specifically for communications involving the purchase or the sale of futures contract. Such an element may be fabricated or produced specifically for bet applications involving buyers and sellers.

It should be noted that the internal structure of one embodiments of the trading platform is malleable and can be readily changed, modified, rearranged, or reconfigured in order to achieve its intended operations. Accordingly, the trading platform may be equipped with any suitable component, device, application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), hardware, software, processor, storage medium, algorithm, read only memory (ROM) element, random access memory (RAM) element, erasable programmable ROM (EPROM), electrically erasable programmable ROM (EEPROM), or any other suitable object that is operable to facilitate the operations of the trading platform. Considerable flexibility is provided by the structure of the trading platform in the context of the trading system. Thus, it can be easily appreciated that the trading platform could readily provide internal or external communications, involving buyers and sellers, which can be accommodated and handled properly. In other embodiments, the trading platform could perform one or more of the tasks provided by reporting/dissemination element such that accurate pricing/odds/exchange information and other relevant bet data could be adequately communicated to buyers and sellers.

A receiver may comprise a module in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The receiver may be an operable program or instruction(s) in the trading platform to receive requests or sales from buyer or seller and to process those requests/sales such that bet transactions involving betting instrument may be performed. The receiver may have a link or a connection to a bet exchange market trading place or some other suitable elements that allows such transactions to be consummated. The resultant betting instrument that is formulated may be suitably stored in memory elements after being properly managed and secured by processors. The processor may also assist in processing any terms or conditions (e.g. desired odds rate, type of outcome, etc.) requested by buyers or sellers. The receiver may contact the buyer or seller and notify either of the circumstances surrounding the inability to fulfill such an order.

In an alternative embodiment, a receiver may be replaced entirely or partially with a person, providing a human interface to a corresponding bets trading platform. In such an embodiment, an agent of trading platform or any other suitable person or representative may be contacted by a buyer or a seller (e.g. via the telephone, a network, other suitable electronic equipment, or directly by word of mouth). The agent or representative may receive a request from a buyer or a seller to execute some transaction involving betting instrument. The agent or representative may then proxy or broker the request to an appropriate bet trading platform for execution of the transaction. The agent or representative may then record the transaction once it has been consummated and contact the buyer or the seller to confirm that the transaction has been executed. A receipt may then be issued to the buyer or the seller indicating the terms of betting instruments.

A decision-maker may comprise a module in accordance with one example embodiment of the present invention. The decision-maker may be an operable program or instruction(s) in the trading platform using proportional calculation to determine whether the offers satisfy transaction criteria among themselves. The resultant betting instrument that is formulated may be suitably stored in memory element after or before being properly managed and secured by the processor. The processor may also process matching calculation.

In an alternative embodiment, the decision-maker may be replaced entirely or partially with a person, providing a human interface to a corresponding bets trading exchange. In such an embodiment, the decision-maker may uses proportional calculation to determine whether offers satisfy transaction criteria among themselves. The decision-maker may then record the transaction once it has been matched.

Clearing house is a module that cooperates with trading system in order to ensure a fair and proper execution of transactions and trades initiated by buyer or seller. Bets exchanges generally have a clearing association (i.e. similar to a clearing house), which operates in conjunction with the bets exchange in a manner similar to a bank clearing house. The membership in the clearing association is generally composed of well-capitalized members of the exchange and corporations or partnerships, one of whose officials is often an exchange member. Exchange members who do not join the clearing association can clear their trades through a member of the association. Each member of clearing house allocates fixed original margins and maintains them with clearing house in the event of adverse price fluctuations. In such instances, a clearing house may call for additional margins throughout the day without waiting for a routine end-of-day settlement.

The system provides each player with detail information about his/her trading activity. For example, a player cans easily view a list of all his/her bets, his/her offers, his/her account and exchanged report which are outstanding, including those have been filled and those which are pending. This list can be sorted by event, by size of bet, by odds, by maturity date, by type of bet, etc. A player can also obtain a complete report of all bets requested or provided and the outcome of each bet settlement information. Furthermore, the player can analyze his/her betting history in many ways, for example over any time period and for specific event. All historical information can be sorted in many ways.

The trading system also produces a comprehensive statement of account. This will show details of all transactions relative to the player's account and will provide a full reconciliation showing how current balances have been achieved.

Players can receive customized information that system provides to meet their own requirements. They can choose what kind of the betting information they need, for example, receiving more than one market information at one time or creating customized reports, and selecting the priority of information receives.

For fixed odds betting market, the odds are floating from time to time. However, once the bets are purchased, the odds will be fixed until bets are settled. According to the invention, the bet trading system permits players to provide bets as well as to request them. When requesting a bet, the player bets that the outcome will occur and makes a profit when it happens. If the outcome does not occur, then the player loses his original stake. Conversely, when supplying an outcome, the player receives stake money, and gives the counter side of the bets. No matter outcome occurs or not, it is unrelated to the supplying player. The supplying player must have bets in his account during the time period when he enters into the exchange process. In the same, the player who requests the bets must have enough money or credit in his account that guarantee the settlement can completed. The matching process is critical, which need calculating the proportion of both sides to exchange to ensure both sides' requirements are satisfied. The operation of the system is illustrated by the example of a soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester Unit.

One embodiment of the invention is that there are three possible outcomes: Liverpool win, Manchester Unit win or the game ends in a draw. It is assumed that several requesting players request a bet which Liverpool win with fixed odds 4 to 1, and at the same time, a supplying player provide a bet, he bought before, which Liverpool win with fixed odds 12 to 1. By proportional calculation, three fixed odds 4 to 1 bets equal to one fixed odds 12 to 1 bet. In this case, the matching succeed and exchange occur, three of the requesting players give the supplying player three unit of cash, and the supplying player gives the three requesting players one fixed odds 12 to 1 bet. Because three fixed odds 4 to 1 bets equal to one fixed odds 12 to 1 bet, each of receiving players receives one 4 to 1 bet.

For the above embodiment, if in case that the supplying player provide bets with fixed odds 2 to 1, one fixed odds 4 to 1 bet equal to two fixed odds 2 to 1 bets. Exchange still occurs, each of the two supplying players receives 0.5 unit of cash, and the requesting player receive one fixed odds 4 to 1 bet.

Similarly, another embodiment of previous situation, three players provide bets with fixed odds 2 to 1; market request bets with fixed odds 3 to 1 two fixed odds 3 to 1 bets equal to three fixed odds 2 to 1 bets. Exchange occurs, each of the three supplying players receives 0.666 unit of cash and each of the two requesting players in the market receive one fixed odds 2 to 1 bet, it can totally write off and there is no risk exposure.

One embodiment of the invention, if a player provides a bet with fixed odds 5 to 1; market request only one bet with fixed odds 3 to 1, and seller adapts to sell at with fixed odds 3 to 1 fixed odds 3 to 1 bet equals to 60% of fixed odds 5 to 1 bets. Exchange occurs, the seller receives one unit of cash and remains a bet with fixed odds 2 to 1 in his account waiting for next matching, and the requesting player in the market receives one fixed odds 3 to 1 bet.

An alternative embodiment of the invention, in case, if two players provide a bet with fixed odds 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 respectively; market requests bets with fixed odds 5 to 1 and both sellers adapt to sell at with fixed odds 5 to 1 one bet with fixed odds 2 to 1 and one bet with fixed odds 3 to 1 equals to one fixed odds 5 to 1 bet. Exchange occurs, two supplying players receive 0.4 unit and 0.6 unit of cash respectively, and the requesting player in the market receives one fixed odds 5 to 1 bet.

If any side has a more favourable odds or price to exchange, the more favourable odds or price will be the exchange odds or price. All the proportional calculation uses the following equation:


Odds ratio=1/Quantity ration=Price ratio

The above equation is useful to standardize the bets, which can match different types of bets. Another embodiment, a seller has bought a bet that has standardize odds and quantity, such as bought from Tradesport.com at $10, award $100 if the outcome occurred for one unit of bets. Now if the player would like to sell the bets, market requests bets with fixed odds 5 to 1 for $1 each, both sides base on different standards. Then the equation can be used to convert both to one standard, price ratio of seller's bet to buyer's bet is 10 to 1, which must equal to 1/odds ratio. After calculation, the odds of seller's bet is 10 to 1 which doubles the buyer's bet, so one seller's bet can be divided into twenty buyer's bet, exchange occurs, the seller gets $20 and each of the twenty buyers order gets odds with 5 to 1.

Calculated proportional ratio is generally unlikely a round number, and is marked up or down to the nearest acceptable number in the odds structure of the system that will be adapted by both sides.

As soon as the bets enter into the system and be confirmed, all players looking at the information provided by the system of the Liverpool vs. Manchester Unit game will see that their information updates immediately to show the new price, new odds and size quotations, reflecting the latest bets.

Diversifying bets ensures the trading to occur, and the diversified bets can be combined to be the original outcome.

Just like the financial exchange market, the betting exchange market uses bargaining together method or continuous bargain method for matching. Same as security market, betting exchange market permits stop-loss order and limit order. The bets are available in the exchange platform, not only sporting bets, but also sporting derivatives, bet derivatives and others instruments with odds.

Players are not allowed to place bets unless they have sufficient funds or bets in their account to cover any outcome on the bet. When requesting a bet, the maximum amount a player can lose is equal to the stake, the theoretical maximum profit is infinite (the odds of bet requesting is infinite low in secondary market), but it is the ideal case. For a rational secondary market (this invention's exchange market), return is between the negative stake and odds X stake. It is different from the conventional market, whereas conventional bets market return is either negative stake or odds X stake.

The bet trading system keeps continuous track of every player's credit exposure. Since the bet trading system does not know whether or not the pending bets placed by the player will be filled, exposure calculations are performed by looking at all possible outcomes and assuming the worst for each time, bearing in mind any interdependencies that may exist between bets.

If the bet request is accepted, the system assigns a unique reference number to it. Players are informed of these numbers. In addition, the system assigns a unique reference to every portion of the bet request that is filled and keeps a record of the corresponding reference for the portion of the bet with which it is matched. These references exist to provide an audit trail.

If the player wishes to cancel the order amount in response to the system, the system checks to see whether this amount has already been wholly or partially exchanged. If the amount has already been wholly or partially exchanged, the system cancels as much of the order amount as possible and confirms the result to the player. If the order amount has not been exchanged, the entire cancellation is confirmed to player.

Another feature of the invention is that the system will act when an agency requests bets from different bookmarkers if those bookmarkers have better odds or price, or when there is no such bets that the player requests in the betting exchange market. It is also an important source of bets that can be exchanged in the betting exchange market. Players can buy bets from different bookmakers, such as Gala Coral Group, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Ladbrokes, William Hill, etc, and save them in their own accounts. Players can provide (sell) these bets whenever they want or wait for settlement.

A further feature of the invention is that the system will automatically exchange a player's bet to his best advantage. For embodiment, if the player is simply entered that he wants to have a bet Liverpool to win at an odds of 2 to 1 and the bet is still available at an odds of 3 to 1, then the system will automatically allocate the first of the player's bet to the odds 3 to 1 and the remaining bets at the odds 2 to 1. This ensures that the player always gets the best value available on the system. The same is true if the player sells a bets.

Even though one side of the market has not been taken up, it will still be possible to exchange bets on the other side of the market. The bet trading system performs a market maker function by automatically supplying or requesting bets in such a way that the system operator does not lose money. Arbitrage opportunities arise where a collection of bets of a similar type (i.e. to request a bet or to provide a bet), all on the same event, can be automatically filled by the exchange in the sure knowledge that the system operator will not lose money in all outcome of the event.

The market maker calculates the sizes which will be exchange by the arbitrage, by taking the minimum payout (price size) over all selections, and then calculates the size for each selection which results in that payout. The arbitrage price is generally unlikely a round number, and is marked up or down to the nearest acceptable number in the price structure of the system that will not cause the system to lose money.

Once an event has finished or the exchange has finished, the bet trading system will settle all bets. If a player has won on a bet, the winnings are transferred to the player's account on the system, less the commission that the system operator charges. If a player has lost, then the losing amount is deducted from the player's account on the system. If a player has sold the bets, bets are deducted from the player's account and money is transferred to the player's account. If player has bought the bets, money is deducted from the player's account but bets are transferred to the player's account. At the end of each day, all accounts will be reconciled to ensure that it is only possible for any error to exist in the system for a maximum of one day.

While the above invention has been described primarily in relation to betting exchange market, any form of bets exchange which provides similar functionality is suitable to implement the invention.