What are Virtual Sports and What Do They Mean for the Future of Online Gambling?

Virtual sports are exploding in popularity, though many may not know what they are or realize they’ve already experienced them. Betting on sports is already common, whether you’re betting through an online casino or offline with your friends. But what do virtual sports mean for the future of gambling? We’ll outline how virtual sports are already affecting gambling establishments and trends on the horizon.

Virtual Sports

An Introduction to Virtual Sports

Virtual sports are video games where a software program plays sporting events, contests, and races. They were originally used as a tool to fill in the dead time between live events, but they’ve become a major event in their own right. Virtual sports already account for ten to twenty percent of over-the-counter and online revenues. Virtual sports bridge the gap between sports betting and casinos, and they bring new players to sports books.

You Might Be Able to Bet on Virtual Sports Where You Already Play

Some US casinos such as Sugar House already allow players to bet on virtual sports. While some use them as an extension of their other real-life betting events, some only offer virtual sports betting. Casinos also use virtual games to cross-sell sports betting to those who may or may not be fans of the sport. Since virtual games allow sports fans to play on their own schedule instead of trying to be there in time for a live sporting event, the revenue stream from virtual sports booking becomes rather consistent, and it is generating solid returns.

Factor in a low cost of operations and consistent margins, and virtual sports have a significant, positive impact on the bottom line of online casinos and explain why they’re being widely implemented. There’s not really a learning curve for gamblers who bet on sporting events, since the software is designed to have the same mechanics as normal sports betting.

The Gap Between Virtual and Real Is Closing

Vendors are seeking to create virtual sports and sports betting that is exactly the same as the real thing. They’re creating genuine voiceovers, increasingly realistic graphics, and odds that equal those you’d have if you were watching a real-life sporting event.

Casinos have found that sports fans don’t care so much about the game not being live as long as the results are fair. The winning is real, too. Virtual sports are growing worldwide as they recreate sporting experiences that reflect regional audiences, though some markets are warming faster than others. Software designers target markets with virtual sports systems that reflect their customers’ tastes, so virtual sports in the UK are mostly horse racing and soccer, while it is easy to bet on virtual hockey in Scandinavia and football in the United States.

If You Like a Sport, You Can Probably Bet on It

Virtual sports exist for most of the popular sports. The most common ones are soccer, horse racing, dog racing, motorsports, hockey, basketball, and tennis. There are sites that let you set up fantasy sports leagues and bet on the outcomes. And you can watch unique matches based on real-world data, even if those teams have never actually played each other, all while betting on the outcome.

Virtual sports are a relatively new offering by casinos and gambling websites, but the business case for it is clear. The major trends of increasing realism and accessibility are only going to continue.

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