The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the sports betting industry with the sudden halt of all sports globally. What that means is that the betting options are as slim as never witnessed before. This has left bettors with virtual sports and eSports as the remaining betting options.
Virtual sports is the dominant force between the two and ranks third in the list of the most popular sports betting options after football betting and horseracing.
What is Virtual Sports Betting?
Virtual sports betting is simply betting on software simulations of sports, otherwise known as virtual sports, or fantasy sports. These are electronic games inspired by real sports and use random number generation and player/team statistics to generate visual feedback and random outcome of games.
The earliest virtual games had a poor play-by-play description. Still, with the latest technologies like motion capture, and state-of-the-art 3D graphics, virtual sports resemble the real-life games in terms of visuals and gameplay.
How Virtual Sports Betting Works
The markets and odds work in the same way as in sports betting. Before the game starts, the participating teams or entities are displayed together with the respective markets and odds. Also, information regarding the form of the teams or recent performance is shown to help players make their bets.
There is often a time limit set for players to make their bets before the match starts. The games here take a very short time, and once they are over, the results are displayed, and winnings are paid.
Pros and Cons of Virtual Football Betting
The advantage of fantasy sports betting is that games are available 24/7 so any time is game time. This is unlike real sports, where all events follow a calendar. Another thing, players don’t need to have prior knowledge about the game, the teams, or players.
On the downside, virtual sports betting can deplete the bankroll very fast because of the quick-fire bets. The simulated games also don’t have the adrenaline and entertainment that comes with real sports betting. Lastly, virtual sports betting require powerful devices and fast internet connection for the best experience.
Best Virtual Sports to Bet on
The fantasy sports betting industry has grown exponentially in the last few years. Today, there are so many virtual sports to bet on. The list includes;
- Virtual Football – This is a soccer simulation game that features competitions like the world cup tournament, and several top leagues. The bets are similar to those of regular football betting.
- Cricket – Here, the Indian Premier League (IPL), is the most prevalent in the virtual cricket betting segment and involves betting on simulated cricket matches.
- Virtual Basketball – Fans of basketball can also wager on their favourite teams in virtual basketball betting where the NBA is the dominant league. The bets are the same as the standard basketball betting.
- Horseracing – In this virtual sports betting, players predict which horse will win the race, among other bets.
- Dog Racing – Also known as greyhounds, this virtual sport involves predicting the winning dog in the race, among other bets.
- eSports – This is a pretty new form of virtual games betting where gamblers bet on video games played by pro eSports players. Examples include FIFA betting, and PES betting, which are football simulator games.
The above are some of the most popular virtual sports that players bet on. Other worthy mentions include virtual speedway, Formula 1, virtual tennis, and virtual baseball, among others.
For the record, these virtual sports are inspired by real-life games. For example, virtual cricket leagues depict the top cricket leagues such as the Indian Premier League, and to some extent, the teams, and player traits. This is the same for all the other virtual sports.
However, the actual league names, team names or player names may not be used in all the virtual sports because of licensing. Yet, the leagues, teams and player names can be decoded. For example, in virtual football betting, Arsenal is referred to as London Gunners while Crystal Palace is Crystal Eagles.
Best Virtual Sports Betting Sites
Now, when it comes to the best sportsbooks for virtual betting, the first thing players need to make sure is that the company is licensed by any of the renowned regulatory bodies. Also, the games should be independently audited by firms like BMM Testlabs and iTech. This is to ensure that the virtual games are of the highest quality, and most importantly, fair.
Players should also find a casino that has all the virtual sports they intend to bet on. Besides the games, find out about the markets and the odds. Some bookies have fewer markets with very low odds. The ideal choice should be a bookmaker that offers large markets and the highest odds.
Lastly, check the user-friendliness of the betting site and here, aspects like compatibility, site performance, security, currency, language and customer support are essential.
Virtual Sports Betting Tips
For players who are embarking on virtual sports betting after reading this, here are some tips to get started.
- Pick the bookmaker wisely. Avoid these little known betting sites and go for the household names as they have wider markets, better odds and enhanced features.
- Players should ignore all the prior knowledge they have about the sport, including the leagues, teams and players. Virtual games are based on random number generator software and the individual players in the case of esports. So while the big four are always the favourites in dominating the English premier league, the underdogs could prove otherwise in virtual football betting.
- Focus on the odds at hand. In most cases, the higher the odds, the slimmer the chances of winning. This is an aspect that is common in virtual games.
- Virtual sports are fast-paced games, so players are advised to stake small. This way, they are guaranteed to play for longer.
- Just to let players know, there are no strategies to beat the bookmaker. Also, there are no predictable patterns to be used to predict the outcome of the game.
Responsible Virtual Sports Betting
Research shows that fantasy sports betting is more addictive compared to normal sports betting. The round-the-clock availability of betting options and the fast results are some of the reasons players get hooked easily. As a player, make sure to set a budget for virtual sports betting, and stick to it. Also, size the bets wisely and never chase losses.
While many doubt the fairness of virtual sports betting, it is a gambling option that is here to stay, especially during such times when there are no real sports to bet on. Even when normality resumes, virtual sports betting will still hold a special place in the hearts of sports betting enthusiasts as popular sports like horse racing, cricket, dog racing, and motorcycle speedway are not available all the seasons.