Sportradar subsidiary, Betradar has announced that it is running a virtual sports version of the UEFA Euro 2020 soccer competition. The live tournament is delayed until 2021 as the result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement was made during a webinar on the Evolution of Virtual Sports Betting by Sportradar Managing Director of Gaming, Franz Wenzig. Currently, all the qualifiers for Euro 2020 except for four teams are known. Their matches have been postponed.
Wenzig explained that the teams in the virtual competition would be all those that have already qualified in the live competition plus four selected using data analysis.
Sports fans starved of action will be able to bet on their favorite teams even though almost all live games have been canceled.
Sports betting operators around the world can now prepare to offer their own implementation of the virtual Euro2020. Virtual sports betting is legal in the EU through Malta, Italy and UK licensed companies. In the US, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania gambling regulations allow sports betting on virtual sports.
Euro 2016 showcased virtual sports betting
Four years ago Euro2016 was the first major international competition to have a virtual sports companion. Betradar produced the platform which was adopted by many European sports betting operators.
Virtual versions of the live matches were live-streamed with all possible betting options to millions of sports fans. Betradar took the 24 qualifying teams and using their deep database of statistics reproduced the matches which occasionally produced the upsets that make the live games so exciting.
At the time, Betradar’s Neale Deeley, commented:
“It may not surprise anyone that the top two in the betting market are the likeliest winners of the Euros, but we have the data that proves just about anyone can lift the trophy if results go their way to set up the last 16 the right way.”
Virtual sports betting on UEFA Euro 2020 is a valuable option for the industry
So many sports fixtures have been canceled that sports betting operators are facing a massive revenue shortfall this year. Alongside share price declines of up to 65 percent, many are issuing profits warnings.
UEFA Euro 2020 was expected to produce a bumper year for sports betting revenues, but these will now be delayed until 2021. Virtual sports betting is suddenly becoming one of the only alternatives companies can deploy to attract bettors.
The stereotypical image of dad lazing on the sofa at the weekend to watch sports has become a daily reality for many stuck at home during the coronavirus crisis. There is a captive market that has no sports to watch. This isn’t good for any population’s morale or for domestic harmony.
At least with a virtual sports implementation of UEFA Euro 2020, those confined to home will have some virtual soccer to watch and bet on.
Betradar’s product is likely to make a substantial contribution to sports betting revenues this year. No longer just an incremental revenue generator, virtual sports competitions may become core products.