Play Virtual Sports, Win Real Money

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Games like NBA2K20 have helped to popularize virtual sports betting.

There are soccer players on the pitch engaged in fierce battle before your eyes. Defenders go in with hard tackles. Midfielders play useful balls to create openings. Strikers rise high in the air to nod a corner kick at goal, only to see a spectacular sprawling effort from the goalkeeper parry the ball aside.

It sounds and feels so real but is in fact virtual reality. The world of virtual sports is nothing new to gamers. Betting on virtual sports might be, though.

A number of the world’s top online sportsbooks offer odds on virtual sports matches that take place right in front of your eyes on their website. Soccer is a popular sport on these sites. Golf and tennis are also offered.

Racing of all types is also prominently present at virtual sports betting sites. There are horse and greyhound racing cards, as well as motorsports of all varieties – NASCAR, Formula One, and MotoGP.

The opportunities to wager on virtual sports are growing by leaps and bounds, as online sportsbooks continue to create more options. As virtual sports grow to become an even larger part of our culture, especially among younger audiences, the need to offer virtual sports betting markets will gain more traction.


How It Works

Who hasn’t sat back and let the computer contest a sporting event on their favorite gaming device in order to see just how it might play out? Well, if you’ve done that, you already know how a virtual sporting event at an online sports betting site will be operating.

Advanced computer algorithms are at the controls of a virtual sports match and will decide the outcome. It’s basically a way to wrap up sports betting, eSports, and slot machine play all in one tidy package.

When designing the games, computer programmers do their utmost to replicate the skills, talent, and individual creative level of the actual people that the virtual players involved in the competition are based upon. Naturally, to avoid any legal matters with real pro leagues and professional players, no identifying names are involved. The play-by-play call of the match is very basic and generic.

Due to the random nature of the outcome of these virtual sports events, regulators have determined that wagering on virtual sports is no different than opting to play a slot machine inside an online casino.


Wagering On Virtual Sports

Sports betting today is all about action. Betting on a game isn’t enough for players in this fast-paced society, where information can be accessed at the click of a button. It’s why sportsbooks now offer live in-play wagering, enabling bettors to put money down on a single outcome within the actual overall event, such as who will score the next goal, or who will commit the next foul.

Sporting events, though, are played within a very regimented schedule. Virtual sports, because they are virtual reality and not actual reality, can be scheduled at regular time intervals throughout the course of a day.

Whether it’s two in the afternoon, or two in the morning, players looking for action can always count on virtual sports being there for them. It could be a horse race, it might be a tennis game, or perhaps a soccer match. Whatever the case, it’s a virtual certainty that the clock is counting down quickly towards the next virtual sports betting opportunity.


Where To Bet Virtual Sports

Virtual soccer match.

The top online sports betting houses treat virtual sports with the same respect and attention that is offered to actual sporting events.

British bookmaking giant William Hill notes that virtual sports account for about 20% of their betting handle. They made wagering on virtual horse racing available to bettors in 2016 at each of their Las Vegas-based retail sportsbooks. It’s since been added to their online sports betting app.

During the pandemic shutdown of NASCAR, Interops offered wagering on NASCAR virtual racing. The world’s No. 1 stock car racing circuit took to iRacing, with the actual NASCAR drivers competing on video game versions of the tracks they race, whilst at the controls of the virtual versions of themselves.

Bet365 is another online sportsbook that carries a lengthy menu of virtual sports betting. There’s football, basketball, horse racing – both thoroughbred and harness varieties, greyhound racing, soccer, cycling, stock cars, speedway, tennis, cricket, and darts.

The Pennsylvania Lottery offers wagering on virtual horse and car racing from Xpress Sports. In late May, the Oregon Lottery unveiled a program to incorporate virtual sports betting as part of the state’s sports betting app.


The Next Step

In 2019, the NBA took the combination of actual sports and virtual sports a step further. They introduced the NBA2K League, a virtual sport designed to operate as a real sport. It’s a professional virtual sports league featuring the best NBA 2K players in the world. It’s also the first official virtual sports league to be operated by a U.S. professional sports league.

Tryout camps were held. Players were cut. A draft was held and teams in 22 NBA cities and one in China selected their rosters. Those players relocated to the NBA city they were representing.

Instead of playing virtual versions of NBA players, the NBA2K players created their own personas and play as those personas. And sportsbooks have begun to offer wagering on the league.

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