For a long time now, the betting market in the United States has been fractured, confused and very much in a state of flux. An increasing number of states are now starting to legislate to allow a variety of online betting opportunities for their citizens, ranging from sports betting, to casino gaming to online poker, or in some cases, all three.
States such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana now offer a selection of different betting opportunities to customers and the likelihood is that more states could follow suit and this has great potential for any company seeking to explore and expand into the potentially lucrative, and relatively untapped, United States betting market.
Inspired Make Their Move
Confirmation of this has come this week with the news that one of the biggest names in Virtual Sports betting and gaming, Inspired Entertainment, have struck deals to expand their presence in the available states that are part of the North American gaming market. Not only has the company agreed to launch a wide range of casino games across its link with 888 Casino, but they have also released six Virtual Sports titles through the bet365 website for customers based in New Jersey.
This is a significant step. In the United States, Virtual Sports has been available in a number of locations, but it has always tended to be tied in with a local lottery game, as is the case in Pennsylvania.
The deal that bet365 Sports and Inspired Entertainment have struck in New Jersey means that bet365 will be the first company in the United States to offer Virtual Sports alongside its sports betting operation, just as happens across Europe and in other parts of the world.
The news for bet365 comes just a few months after the company launched its move into the American market back in September 2019. In partnership with. Hard Rock Atlantic City, the company began to offer traditional sports betting markets to New Jersey residents online.
At the time, it was the first step that bet365 had taken to try and break into the American market. Now it seems the company is set to expand its offering still further.
A total of eleven different Virtual Sports will be offered on bet365’s platform in New Jersey. The content will be available 24 hours a day on every day of the year and means that there will be over 4,800 different Virtual Sports events for New Jersey citizens to bet on each day.
Speaking about the move, the Chief Commercial Officer at Inspired, Steven Rogers stated: “We’re excited to be providing our Virtual Sports to bet365 as they expand in the US. We’ve enjoyed many successful product launches with them over the years and we’re confident this will be no exception.”
Tailored to the American Market
It is likely that the 11 Virtual Sports from the Inspired Entertainment portfolio of games will be the ones most likely to appeal to the American market and that will likely include the company’s offerings of V-Play Football (which is American Football), V-Play Basketball, V-Play Stock Car Racing, V-Play Motor Racing, V-Play Horses 2 (Sprints) and V-Play Soccer 2 Matchday.
By tailoring their output to a North American audience, Inspired Entertainment will hope that bet365’s Virtual Sports offerings prove to be a huge hit, and with other American-friendly games on the way, including an Ice Hockey Virtual game in the works, it is likely that bet365 will be adding to the selection of games available for New Jersey residents in a relatively short space of time.
Why is American key for Virtual Sports betting?
The entire American market is key for Virtual Sports Betting, but in truth it is key for all formsof betting and gambling. A few years ago, there was a blanket ban in place across almost all states when it came to forms of online gambling but over time, as local leaders have realised how much can be raised in taxation from allowing online betting and gambling, there has been a surge of interest across a number of states in allowing their citizens to wager online.
New Jersey was one of the first states to get the ball rolling alongside the gambling hotbeds of Nevada (which includes Las Vegas). Other states, such as Indiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia have followed suit, but not uniformly, with some states allowing some forms of online wagering, while others remain unavailable.
However, the feeling in the American betting industry is that soon, many more states will start to allow their citizens to bet, simply because of the amount of revenue that can be created for the state officials in terms of taxation on gambling. This is a much more satisfactory situation than forcing American gamblers to gamble illegally at unlicensed and potentially criminal sports betting services located in other countries around the world.
So as the betting industry grows in the United States, so does the opportunity to offer its citizens some of the more recent innovations in the industry, New Jersey has also just introduced its first esports betting services in the state and the decision to allow bet365 to offer a wide range of Virtuals means that New Jersey citizens can now access most, if not all, of the options available to punters in other parts of the world.
The general feeling within the industry being that when people start to realise what is happening in New Jersey, that this will spread across to other states, as it already has to the likes of Pennsylvania and Indiana.
It remains to be seen just how popular Virtual Sports will be in North America. It may take the industry a little extra time to permeate through to larger numbers of players, many of whom are still getting accustomed to the novelty of being able to bet on real sports, or play casino games and slots. However, over time, it looks likely that the United States will, like other parts of the world, fall in love with Virtual Sports.