Verizon is going to work in partnership with sports gambling firm Entain to create a new virtual reality experience that combines live sports with betting. The proof-of-concept experience will allow users to enjoy more participation in sports events, and to socialise with friends and analyse stats as they place bets on Entain platforms like BetMGM.
Entain is a UK-based company that was formerly known as GVC Holdings. It has a stake in many gambling ventures and is a co-owner of BetMGM, the online sportsbook that is jointly operated with MGM Resorts.
Verizon Media and BetMGM already have an existing relationship via a cross-platform integration deal with Yahoo Sports, which is a subsidiary of Verizon.
No release date for the project has yet been confirmed but those involved with it are delighted by the possibilities that the new concept offers. Entain CEO Shay Segev believes that the project helps his company achieve its vision of predicting what their audience’s interests will be in five or 10 years time.
“We envisage consumers meeting at a game with friends, who could in fact be elsewhere, using virtual reality headsets to watch, interact and share the experience together and, potentially compete between themselves at half time or feel like they’re on the pitch with the players,” he said.
Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan explained that together Verizon and Entain will be working to build the next generation of “content experiences” for sports fans and online gamblers. Thanks to 5g-enabled studios in Los Angeles and London, customers can be given a whole new level of immersion when gaming.
Verizon Media’s Immersive platform will also play a vital role in the project, as this allows extended reality (XR) to be created and distributed across several digital channels at scale. The venture hopes to create a virtual stadium experience and allow greater user participation in the games being offered.
“This new alliance takes the collaboration between our two companies to a new level and will allow us both to maximize new opportunities across sports-betting, content, and entertainment,” said Gowrappan.
Yahoo Sports already has integrated support for BetMGM, meaning that users of the Yahoo sports app can place bets quickly and easily via BetMGM. As 5G technologies begin to make their presence felt in the gaming and sports sectors across the globe, it seems likely that an increasing number of companies will launch similar ventures in the coming months and years.