One of the newest game formats to come to New Jersey’s online casino market is changing the way people think about slot machines. They’re called virtual sports, and they’re available at a growing number of New Jersey’s legal online casino sites.
What are virtual sports?
Virtual sports can best be defined as a combination of video games, sports betting, and slot machines.
Virtual sports are more or less 3D sports-themed video games with realistic graphics and an endless supply of content – content you can place wagers on.
How do I play virtual sports?
Virtual sports aren’t video games that you sit down and play.
The only human element of virtual sports is the capability to bet on the outcomes.
When you “play” virtual sports you’re simply watching as a match or race plays out; you have no control over the outcome of the game.
Unlike esports or skill-based games, virtual sports contests are played by the game itself, with the outcomes based on the combination of historical data embedded into the game and a random number generator capable of creating an endless supply of potential scenarios.
Just like in real sports, the better team doesn’t always win.
The data makes the players and horses unique and provides a way to handicap the contests and race, and once the odds have been established the random number generator is introduced. After taking the historical data into consideration, the random number generator then determines the outcome.
How does wagering on virtual sports work?
Wagering on virtual sports resembles placing a wager in a sports book.
- You look at the odds, place your bets, and sit back and watch the game or race.
- Like traditional sports betting, there are multiple betting options for each match or race, with the virtual sports program creating the point spreads and odds, based on the historical data.
Where virtual sports diverges from traditional sports betting is the frequency of events.
Because they’re not real, virtual sports contests can run 24/7, which is why virtual sports has done so well in UK betting shops, providing content when no real world events are taking place.
Furthermore, virtual sports can be programmed to run as often as the purveyor desires. Races can be scheduled to start every 10 minutes or every 2 minutes. Soccer matches can be set for 5 minute halves or 20 minute halves.
How realistic are virtual sports games?
The quality of virtual sports products can be seen in the following promotional videos from leading virtual sports providers, Inspired Gaming and Leap Gaming.
Do virtual sports use real athletes?
Virtual sports uses generic numbers and fake names for the athletes and horses. However, these players are sometimes based on real world athletes, teams, and horses — which is where the historical data can come into play.
So, while the teams, individual players, and even the horses don’t bear the names of superstar athletes like Christiano Ronaldo, Tom Brady, or Nyquist (the horse that won the Kentucky Derby), they’re all potentiall unique with statistics that line up with known real-world athletes.
Where can I play virtual sports in New Jersey?
Virtual sports are currently only available in two places in the United States, on the Pala Interactive social casino (a free-play mobile app) and at select William Hill US sports books in Nevada.
In the near future as many as three online gaming operators in New Jersey will begin offering virtual sports through their real-money online casinos.
The companies that have announced imminent virtual sports launches are:
Resorts also plans to launch on-property virtual sports in its iGaming Lounge just off the main casino floor.
What games are available?
The catalogue of virtual sports games is constantly expanding (virtual sports providers are now offering everything from virtual darts to virtual cricket), but for the most part, any sport people like to bet on does well as a virtual sport product.
At present, virtual sports can be broken up into three main categories:
- Team sports
- Individual sports
Over the years, the bread and butter of virtual sports has been racing. European sports betting shops have been using virtual racing to fill content gaps at their brick and mortar locations for years.
From greyhounds to horses and from cycling to speedway, racing translates really well to the virtual sports product and has proven popular with virtual sports users, and will be widely available in New Jersey.
New Jersey players will find the following virtual racing content:
- Virtual Horse Racing – Flats, Trotting, Jumps, and Sprints
- Virtual Speedway (Stock Car Racing)
- Virtual Dog Racing
- Virtual Velodrome and Cycling
- Virtual Speedway (Motocross)
- Virtual Basketball
- Virtual Football (American Football)
- Virtual Soccer
- Virtual Boxing
- Virtual Tennis