The Virtual Sports betting industry is in something of a boom period atthe moment, with the companies that are offering this particular type of betting seeing it prove extremely popular with punters on the site, so much so that behind Soccer and Horseracing, Virtual Sports generates more revenue for UK bookmaking sites than any other form of sports betting.
However, the industry is in rude health not just in the United Kingdom, but in other countries across the world, so much so that there have been a number of big new developments within the Virtual Sports industry over the last few months.
In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the most interesting and potentially impactful news stories over the last 12 months or so that both highlight how important Virtual Sports has become when it comes to online gaming.
BetStars to offer Virtual Sports from Inspired Entertainment
Inspired Entertainment, who provide the Virtual Sports betting software and technology for a number of top-level sports betting sites in the UK, including Betway and 10Bet, have just signed up to provide their product for a relative newcomer to the sports betting scene.
That site is BetStars, which is the sports betting sister site of the famous PokerStars site that has become the number one choice for top poker players around the globe over the years. Its sports betting service was launched a few years ago and has gone from strength to strength since, but is yet to offer Virtual Sports betting to its customers.
The company has signed a deal to be BetStars provider for Virtual Sports internationally, and they will begin operations on the site with the launch of the Rush Football 2 on BetStars.com at some point in the near future. The game will be available to both online and mobile customers. It is the same version of the game that is currently found on sites such as Betway.
“I’m delighted to announce this exclusive deal with BetStars” stated Chief Commercial Officer Steve Rogers at Inspired Entertainment.
“The Stars Group is a powerhouse in the online and mobile betting industry. This agreement gives us the ability to appeal to one of the largest base of players around the world.”
With 15 years of experience in developing games, it will be interesting to see which of Inspired Entertainment’s full suite of Virtual Sports games are eventually offered on the BetStars sites across the globe and how the company hopes to utilise Virtual Sports with its existing player base which comprises mainly of poker players, plus a number of casino gamers and sports betting enthusiasts.
IWG and Inspired Entertainment Look to Develop Instant Win Virtual Sports
That is not the only big news recently involving Inspired Entertainment as the company has also been busy looking at ways to develop the fledgling Virtual Sports betting market in the United States and in conjunction with IWG, a supplier of instant win games for the US market, the two companies are looking at ways in which their expertise could be combined to produce Instant Win Virtual Sports games.
The key to the venture is that the mechanics and enjoyment of Virtual Sports remains at the heart of the game itself, however by utilising and modifying certain aspects of the Virtual Sports engine, the company will be able to offer Instant Win prizes based on incidents which occur in the Virtual Sports in question.
Plans for the first game are already well advanced and will be based on American Football, with players allowed to place a bet on the outcome of a play in Virtual American Football. They will then be able to win instant prizes based on the outcome of that play. Plans exist for the first version of the game to be made available to players within a few months, around the time of the NFL Playoffs, which begin in January 2019.
Players will be able to play online across IWG’s lottery network and on selected other commercial sites.
Speaking following the announcement, IWG’s CEO Rhydian Fisher stated:
“We are very excited about this collaboration. These games are beautifully simple and with the advent of sports betting in the US landscape, we feel they are a good entry point for customers who are interested in sports betting, but may not have experience in doing so.
“We are confident that the instant win game play mechanics coupled with the rich virtual animations, will prove to be popular with player sand driver further revenue for good causes. It’s a great complement to our instant win portfolio and we could not be more excited to offer this to all our lottery partners.”
Speaking on behalf of Inspired Entertainment, Executive Chairman Lorne Weil stated:
“With the proliferation of mobile wagering and sports betting throughout North America, lotteries need to get creative to stay competitive, now more than ever. We see a huge opportunity in the North American lottery market for these products, where the instant gratification and digital format have the ability to reinforce current offerings and attract new players.”
Weil also revealed that his company has plans to offer more than simply American Football Instant Win Virtual games in the US, stating:
“We can’t wait to showcase these new games and, while we are starting with instant-win Virtual Football, we are excited to leverage additional Inspired content to grow this category with IWG.”
Virtual Sports spreads around the globe
Alongside the two announcements above, there have also been a number of other announcements of late where a sports betting site has partnered with a Virtual Sports producer to offer Virtual Sports betting to different parts of the world.
For example, BetConstruct, which offers betting content across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, has signed a deal with Kiron Interactive to bring Virtual Sports to those markets, with the likes of Virtual Football, Basketball and many different types of racing all being mooted to be made available in this part of the world.
Similarly, Maltese based company Betzest has also signed a deal with Sporting Tech to offer Virtual Sports alongside its standard forms of betting on its sports betting site, which operates across many parts of Europe since it was first opened earlier in 2018.
As you can see, the Virtual Sports industry is very much a growing phenomenon across the world and although it may still be a young industry, its importance to sports betting sites cannot be understated.