At the moment, there are a total of eight different Virtual Sports that you can currently enjoy at Bet365 Sport. These are:
- Virtual Horse Racing
- Virtual Greyhounds
- Virtual Speedway
- Virtual Motor Car Racing
- Virtual Soccer
- Virtual Cycling
- Virtual Tennis and
- Virtual Trotting
However, there will come a time when Bet365 do look to expand their Virtual Sports offering, especially if it continues to grow in popularity as it has done over the few years since it was first offered as part of the Bet365 Sport site.
So with that in mind, we are going to look forward and consider which other sports that are not yet available as a Virtual Sport for Bet365, could well be ones that the company seeks to add to its Virtual Sports network in the future?
What qualities does a potential Virtual Sport need to have?
Before we consider individual sports we need to be clear about what it is that makes a good Virtual Sport. This is a key consideration as some sports lend themselves easily to being a Virtual Sports, but won’t offer too much in the way of betting, whereas other sports have great potential for betting, but adapting them as Virtual Sports could be tricky.
The first consideration is that it must be a sport that can be represented in short form graphically with relative ease. This isn’t as arduous as it sounds as it is possible for most skilled programmers to develop a simulation of almost any sport. The key element here is ‘short form’ as some sports do not lend themselves to being a 30-60 second version of the game (a frame of snooker, for example).
Secondly, it has to be a sport that offers easy betting opportunities ideally across a range of mark
ets that can be easily programmed to work in conjunction with the software. This goes without saying really as without the real cash betting on the Virtual Sport, there is no incentive for Bet365 to offer them in the first place.
The final quality is that of course the sport must be appealing to punters and this is where I think Bet365 could do with a little work. While Soccer and horseracing are popular betting sports, Cycling is much less popular and Trotting equally so. There are plenty of other sports that are more appealing than these that could be adopted for Virtual Sports gaming and below, we are going to take a look at just a few, with a few ideas on how they could be incorporated.
What are potential future Virtual Sports on Bet365?
To consider this we are going to split our types of sports into two different varieties, ones that are essentially race based activities (similar to motor sports, horse racing, cycling and greyhounds) and those that are game based activities (such as soccer and tennis).
Race based sports:
Athletics – Sprint Races (100m, 200m, 400m, 4×100 Relay)
I think one of the most appealing sports to add to the Virtual Sports range would be Athletics and in particular the Sprint Races of the 100m, 200m and 400m, plus you could also add the 4x100m relay if so inclined as all these events would have a duration that allows them to fit nicely into the three minute Virtual Sports betting window.
Of course, betting on Athletics isn’t a massive market, but the beauty of virtual sports is that it could be. This game would work in the same way as any of the other race betting virtual sports available at Bet365 Sport, but with the added excitement of just being about how fast an individual can run the race.
No real life names need to be used in this in the same way none are used in Motor Sports, Cycling or other Virtual Sports race games, but by having people representing different countries and setting it in the context of a big athletics meeting, or perhaps even the Olympic Games, I think this would prove to be a very popular addition to the Virtual Sports range.
Swimming (50m and 100m races)
Graphically, seeing water on screen is one of the most satisfying things you can see on a desktop or mobile device and so I think Swimming, or rather the 50m and 100m sprint races in swimming (which usually take around 30 seconds to a minute to complete) would be ideally suited.
This would be a different pace of race compared to the other ones and graphically, it would look spectacular as a Virtual Sport while once again bringing to the Virtual Sport arena a sport which is very exciting but which people do not tend to bet on in the main.
For variation, you could add the different strokes for each race (backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly) and this would allow punters the chance to bet on more than one different type of race across two different distances, thus varying the options available to them.
Just For Fun Races (30 second duration – Sprint Races)
Who says Virtual Sports need to be based on real life sports at all? The great thing about the virtual world is that with enough creativity and imagination, you can create anything within a predetermined set of criteria. So rather than simulate another sport, with Just for Fun Races you can create your own sport.
How about a 100m race between eight different comedians to see who comes out on top? Which footballer is the quickest out of eight of the fastest in the world? Who would win in a race between an elephant, a man, a rhino or a hippo?
I think it is easy to get bogged down in presenting “real sports” when the beauty of virtual sports is that you can use your imagination and create all kinds of crazy sporting events using any number of different themes, all of which will add a much needed touch of humour and enjoyment to the Virtual Sports genre.
Game Based Sports
Of all the sports most likely to join the Virtual Sports throng next, I think Cricket is a solid bet. It would be relatively easy to develop a highlights package of Cricket based on one team playing one over and then switching over and then the other team playing one over.
Betting would, of course, have to be adapted, so you could bet on whether a team would take a wicket in the over (yes/no) rather than the number of wickets taken in an innings. You could be on the number of runs being scored being over or under a set number, or between a number of different options.
There are so many potential betting markets that you could bet on for Virtual Cricket that I think that it is a shoe in that at some point this will be added to the Virtual Sport offering, not just at Bet365 Sport, but on other sites with Virtual Sports betting too.
Soccer Penalty Shootout
Given the popularity of soccer, I think a natural extension of the current Virtual Soccer offering is to offer punters the chance to bet on what would happen in a Virtual Penalty Shootout between two teams that have drawn a game.
Each team could take five penalties and in the event of a tie, sudden death could come into play, just as in the real world. While there are fewer betting opportunities on betting on penalty shootouts, you can create some novel betting markets that may only be available when In Play betting, for this particular game.
The drama of a penalty shootout would make this appealing and would sit nicely alongside the current Virtual Soccer betting offering.
Using the same ‘highlights’ presentation style as soccer, I think it would be a real boost to offer punters the chance to bet on a sport such as American Football. Like soccer, this is a sport with key moments that occur in games that would be perfect for highlight presentations, touchdown’s, interceptions, fumbles, field goals etc. And this could be easily presented on screen.
Like soccer, American Football has a huge potential for betting on the number of points scored, number of field goals, touchdowns or fumbles in a game and so forth. Indeed, there are so many betting options here that it would be a case of selecting the most popular.
With American sports gaining popularity globally, I think a Virtual Sport that covers American Football in particular would go down well with the Virtual Sports growing fanbase.