The Ultimate Guide: Virtual Sports and Virtual Sports Betting

Welcome to another full iGaming industry guide created by content365.me. This time, we’re focusing on the ever-popular and unique virtual sports. The massive technological advancements in the past couple of years allowed the gaming industry to evolve to levels we never thought possible. One of the coolest inventions in recent history is virtual sports.

This is a type of game that is based on real sports but is powered by complex algorithms. And if that’s not enough, people have taken things up a notch and are actually placing bets on these events.

Although virtual sports games have been present since 1961, they became wildly popular between 2019 and 2020. During this timeframe, most of us were at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People started exploring entertainment options on the Internet and found virtual sports games quite amusing.

virtual sports

As time went on, the popularity increased so much that even betting sites started integrating it into their platforms. Registered punters were able to follow the latest games and wager their opinions.

Since every day is a good day to learn something new, we are going to dive deeper into this topic. We’ll share everything you need to know about virtual sports and the betting process. We’ll also compare virtual sports online with real sports and eSports. The diversification will help you understand the games much better.

We’ll also analyze the concept from multiple standpoints. We want players to know what virtual sports are and how they work. We also want to highlight their importance and potential for iGaming operators and other iGaming professionals, such as casino affiliates or casino content writers.

Quick Virtual Sports Statistics and Facts

According to Grand View Research, the virtual sports market size will only keep growing in the years to come. Here are some facts and figures anyone interested in this topic should know.

  • The global virtual sports market size was estimated at over $13 billion in 2022.
  • In 2023, that estimation surpassed $15 billion.
  • As one of the fastest-growing industries, the revenue forecast for the global virtual sports market is estimated to reach over $47 billion by 2030.
  • According to the latest data, the virtual sports market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 16.7% until 2030.
  • In September 2023, NBA 24 was launched, and it quickly became the top-rated NBA video game simulation series.
  • With the rise of advanced technologies like AI and VR, the highest revenue share (over 85%) in 2022 belonged to the solution segment. 
  • On the other hand, football had the most dominant revenue share in the global virtual sports market in 2022, with over 28%.
  • It seems that basketball will soon get its spotlight, with some data suggesting that it will have an annual growth rate of 16% in the following years. 
  • Based on demographics, the largest revenue share (over 41%) in 2022 belonged to the 21 to 35 years segment.
  • That said, the below 21 years segment is expected to gain an annual growth rate of around 17% during the following years.
  • North America held over 28% revenue share in the global virtual sports market in 2022.

Virtual Sports Versus Real Sports Versus eSports

Since this type of game has the word “sports” in it, many people might mistake it. Some think it’s a part of real sports, while others think it’s just another eSports category. Although virtual sports have touching points with both categories, they are diverse in many ways.

Recognizing the key points, differences, and potential of these three is crucial for any iGaming professional. If you’re looking to start a casino affiliate business, for instance, virtual sports is a product you need to include. By contrast, eSports and standard sports betting often suit a different customer profile.

Virtual Sports

Since this is supposed to be a virtual sports guide, we’ll start with the main topic. Their connection to real sports is that they are inspired by them. Virtual sports come in many shapes — football, basketball, horse racing, tennis, and much more.

However, the human factor barely has any influence over the outcome. Instead, each outcome is determined by Random Number Generators. Their similarity with eSports is that they are played online and with a group of people.

Real Sports

Real sports are exactly what the term suggests: real professionals play them. In their highest form, millions of people follow sports from all around the world. Take football, for example. The World Cup final is the most popular sports game in the world. On average, over a billion people tune in to watch this game.

All events in these games are purely affected by humans. Yes, there are technological tools such as replays and VAR, but 90% of the outcome is human-based. Aside from football, some of the world’s most popular sports are:

  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Combat sports (boxing, MMA, kickboxing)
  • Tennis
  • Handball
  • Golf

eSports

Finally, eSports is a rather interesting category. This section includes playing video games at the highest and most professional level. Some of these games include DOTA 2, Counter-Strike: GO, League of Legends, and Call of Duty.

Just like virtual sports, they are played in teams and on gaming devices. However, the virtual sports esports parallel is separated by the performance. In eSports, humans are in charge of the outcomes. In virtual games, the outcomes are determined by RNGs.

How Virtual Sports Work

Now that you can draw the line between virtual sports, real sports, and eSports, let’s focus more on the first category. After all, this is a virtual sports online guide and we intend to share every detail.

So, as we mentioned earlier, these games take real sports as inspiration and digitalize them. You can play them at any time and place. You just need to have a stable Internet connection.

When it comes to their mechanics, two components influence the outcome. First, we have the Random Number Generator. RNGs are in charge of making sure that every score is unbiased and fair.

Then, we have the so-called ability score. They can influence the outcome and make the overall experience more realistic. The math around the ability score is very simple. The higher your score is, the more likely you are to win.

Motion-capture technology in the modern era helps with the visuals in these games. Thanks to that, the gaming experience goes to the next level and adds a unique flavor.

Its high-adrenaline gameplay and the unpredictability of the outcomes are the reasons why virtual sports software has become such a popular betting activity. However, just like any fundamental, this type of game has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Where Can You Find Virtual Sports Games?

Of course, we can’t forget about one thing in this virtual sports games guide: Where can you play these games? The answer is online betting sites and casinos. Plenty of reputable and licensed sites feature virtual sports games.

You can even use a virtual sports betting strategy to add more spice to the experience. Keep in mind that the strategies don’t guarantee you wins; they just slightly increase the chances of one.

Pros of Virtual Sports

  • High-end gaming experience
  • Motion caption technology
  • Every virtual sports league brings out competitiveness

Cons of Virtual Sports

  • Virtual sports sites are yet to increase in availability
  • Lack of strategic approaches

Mobile Virtual Sports

The virtual sports market size is expanding at a fast rate. Yes, the current viability is not that high (as you see from the list of pros and cons), but that’s about to change. Apart from the rise of virtual sports casino sites, mobile gaming is becoming a major trend.

Research states that the mobile gaming market will expand at a CAGR of 8.51%. Mobile optimization is important because it increases accessibility. Providers want to ensure that their products are as accessible as possible, so they optimize games for mobile use.

They implement the latest HTML5 technology, and hence, the game visuals fit the screen. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using an Android or iPhone. Keep in mind that you can play the most popular virtual sports titles on gambling sites.

That means the site itself must be optimized as well. There are two solutions here. First, the gambling site can use the latest HTML5, just like the game. That way, you can access it using your mobile browser.

Alternatively, you can download its corresponding virtual sports app. These apps are always free to download. In most cases, you can find them on Google Play Store or AppStore.

Types of Virtual Sports

Almost every virtual sports platform features several types of these games. Players can come across the following options:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Horse racing

The general mechanics and rules of virtual sports games are similar. However, every variant has its tweaks, and that’s what makes them unique.

Virtual Football

Let’s start with virtual football. Depending on the provider, the virtual sports simulator is based on competitions such as the Premier League, the World Cup, the Euros, MLS, etc. If it’s based on the Premier League, the concept will feature 20 teams.

A more general league format features 16 teams. There are 240 matches per season. Each day, you’ll have 8 games in parallel, meaning that the whole season lasts about 30 days. If you’re in a simulation of the World Cup, you’ll have 32 teams, 64 matches, and over 1,000 betting options. This is when you can use virtual sports betting tips to enhance your experience.

Basketball

The NBA is the most popular basketball competition of all time. That’s why most virtual basketball games are based on that league. In virtual basketball, you’ll likely come across a system with two conferences – the Eastern and Western. A total of 16 teams compete to become champions.

One of the biggest advantages of these games is that many of them are tailored to the global. Hence, you’ll have English-speaking commentators and they are good at enhancing the gameplay.

Tennis

In virtual tennis, you can watch Grand Slam action. Usually, a total of 16 players compete in a system. However, this isn’t a league system. Instead, they play on the best-of-3 principle. Some operators made this game quite high-adrenaline as they offer new betting options every 15 seconds.

Horse Racing

Finally, we have horse racing. These games feature the world’s most popular tracks. Churchill Downs, the Ascot Racecourse, Saratoga, Belmont Park, and Flemington are a few notable mentions. New races take place every few minutes and the process of betting is simple. You wager on the horse that you think will win. Additional options include:

  • Place
  • Show
  • Over/under
  • Quinella
  • Tricast

Popular Virtual Sports Game Providers

One of the biggest virtual sports games tips that you can receive is to always aim for games by the best providers. Why? The math is simple. Reputable and popular providers create the best products. The better the product is, the better your gaming experience will be. With that being said, here are some of the brands that our content365.me experts believe you should be on the lookout for.

Playtech

The Playtech virtual games are among the best-known in the market. The company uses a highly sophisticated simulator and 3D graphics. Combined with the Playtech ONE solution, all of its games are made to exceed expectations. You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that Playtech has won lots of prestigious iGaming awards over the years.

Not only that, but the interface is tailor-made for virtual sports betting. Thanks to that, you’ll have an easy time finding your wagering options. As for the available games, Playtech is as diverse as you can imagine. Its virtual portfolio includes:

  • Virtual Football
  • Virtual Basketball
  • Virtual Cycle Racing
  • Virtual Racing
  • Virtual Greyhound Racing
  • Virtual Tennis
  • Virtual Speedway

BetRadar

BetRadar isn’t as diverse as Playtech, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a worthy competitor. Its products include Virtual Football, Virtual Basketball, Virtual Tennis In-Play, Virtual Basketball In-Play, Virtual Dogs, Virtual Horses, and Virtual Cricket In-Play.

Virtual Football is its most popular release. It features eight modes: Bundesliga, League Mode, Euro League, World Cup, Nations Cup, Asian Cup, Champions Cup, and Match Football.

Then there’s Virtual Basketball, which only features the Virtual Basketball League. It consists of 16 teams. Every season has 30 matches, and the total duration of a season is about 106 minutes. Betting here is allowed up to 10 seconds before the start of a game.

Kiron Interactive

Kiron Interactive is a true embodiment of “home to virtual sports.” This is the company’s main specialty, and it has over two decades of experience in the field. All of its games are GLI-certified, and the technology is unlike any other provider.

In the world of virtual sports games, this provider has two categories – Virtual Games and Virtual Sports. Since this guide is focused on virtual sports and virtual sports online tips, we’ll only focus on the latter. There are three main types of games here:

  • Virtual Racing
  • Virtual Sports
  • Virtual Football

Virtual Football has one product and it goes by the name GOAL. This is actually one of the most popular solutions in its respective field. The league here has 16 teams and 32 games. The game is specifically designed for mobile devices and hence, you’ll enjoy maximum accessibility.

virtual sports

How to Bet on Virtual Sports

We’ll call this section a virtual sports betting guide. After all, a huge part of the entertainment from these products comes from placing bets on them. At content365.me, we offer all kinds of useful info for players, operators, and other professionals. This section, however, aims to help players specifically.

Browse Through Virtual Sports Games

The first part of the process is to browse through the games. Check out the providers and read their rules. Maybe you can find a virtual sports games strategy. See which type of games suit your preferences the most.

Choose a Reputable Online Bookmaker/Casino

Next, find a reputable online bookmaker or a casino, meaning a site that is fully licensed and regulated. Of course, it also has to feature your favorite virtual sports game. If you have multiple operators in consideration, compare their features.

These include:

  • Available payment methods
  • Bonuses and promotions
  • Mobile optimization
  • Customer support

Register an Account and Deposit

Once you’ve made your pick, it’s time to register. Access the betting platform’s official website and click on the registration button. Provide the site with some information about yourself. In most cases, sportsbooks will require your email, first and last name, phone number, and residing address.

Access the Game and Place Bets

As soon as you register an account, you can choose one of the available payment methods. Pick one that suits you the most and deposit money. Keep an eye on the available promotions as well. You might be able to claim a welcome offer. Once you’ve made the deposit, access the game, and place your bets.

Watch the Stream

Once you place the bet, the stream will begin. If the title supports in-game bets, maybe you can cast an additional wager. The outcome of the game is completely random, so you don’t have to worry about the event being rigged.

Virtual Sports Bet Types

Logically, we ought to explain the available bet types as well. What’s the point of placing a bet if you don’t know what that particular bet represents? Let’s head to the table to look at some of the most common options.

Bet TypeVirtual SportBet Explanation
Match WinnerFootball, basketball, tennis, racingBet on the team or player that you think will win the event 
Double chance Football, basketballBetting on two outcomes in a game. For example, a virtual football match can end up in a draw or the home team to win. 
Over/underFootball, basketball, tennis, horse racingTotal number of goals or points in a game. The event will have a threshold. Over means that the game will cross the threshold. Under means that the game won’t cross the threshold. 
HandicapFootball, basketball, golfGiving an advantage to other players or teams. For example, a handicap bet on the away team in a virtual football match means that the score doesn’t start 0-0, but it starts 0-1. Then, you bet on whether the home team will win. To do so, the team must score two goals, not just one.  
Correct ScoreBasketball, football, tennisPredicting the exact score of a game. 
Place Horse racingYour chosen horse will finish either first or second. 
ShowHorse racingYour chosen horse will finish in the top three. 
Even/oddFootball, basketball, tennis, horse racingThe total number of points or goals will be odd or even. In horse racing, this is a bet on whether the first and second-placed competitors will both have odd numbers or even numbers. 

Virtual Sports Betting Strategies

The virtual sports fantasy world is based on luck. Random Number Generators make sure of that. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t implement a strategy or two to make the experience all the more entertaining. One thing to keep in mind is that they do not guarantee you any wins.

Bonuses and Promotions

Online sportsbooks offer the best virtual sports promotions. These come in the form of deposit and no-deposit bonuses. Make sure you use them, as they can increase your potential payouts. However, pay attention to their terms and conditions, especially wagering requirements. The lower the wagering, the better.

Over/Under Betting Option

When betting on games such as virtual football or basketball, it is hard to predict the winner. So, a smarter choice is over/under. In many virtual football games, the threshold for goals is around 1.5. So if you bet over 1.5, all it takes is for the teams to score 2 goals. The winner doesn’t concern you at all.

Play Low Stakes

The random outcomes are also the reason why you shouldn’t get too carried away. This is especially important if you’re on a winning or losing streak. Never chase after wins and losses, and never bet too high. Keep the stakes low, as they bring up more endurance in the game itself.

Choose Games With Fewer Competitors

The more competitors are in a game, the more possible outcomes there are. The more outcomes there are, the harder it is to predict them. So, instead of choosing a football league with 20 teams, go for a competition that has fewer. Consider placing bets on virtual greyhound races. These games can have as low as 6 competitors.

Best Virtual Sports Betting Sites

While talking about the process of playing virtual sports games, we stated that choosing a reputable sportsbook can make a huge difference. The most reputable betting sites are licensed, regulated, and secure. Security is always of huge importance, and here are some brands that you should consider.

Please note that we’re not promoting these brands or making any financial gains from mentioning them. We just want to provide some valid examples for our readers and fellow professionals who are interested in trying virtual sports products firsthand.

22Bet

22Bet is a globally renowned brand not just for virtual sports but all types of wagering. It has its own app, and it’s optimized for use on both Android and iOS devices. The virtual sports category here is supplied by seven providers:

  • DS Virtual Gaming
  • Kiron Interactive
  • 1Ă—2 Virtuals
  • Betradar
  • Global Bet
  • Leap 
  • Golden Race

As soon as you register, you can claim its 100% match welcome package. Rebate bonuses, a Friday match bonus, and Lucky Ticket are also up for grabs.

BetWinner

Few operators are as entertaining as BetWinner, which is also one of the top Skrill gambling and betting sites. First up, there are several promotions up for grabs. Sports Cashback, first deposit bonus, and 100% Match every Thursday are a few notable mentions. Then we have its virtual sports section, which features several dozens of titles.

Virtual Football Pro, Virtual Cup, Motorbike V2 OnDemand, Euro Cup 2020 OnDemand, and Real Fighting are a few honorable mentions. Finally, security here is on point. The platform uses 128-bit encryption and holds a license from the government of Curacao.

1xBet

1xBet holds a license from the government of Curacao, and it represents a top-rated Neteller casino site. Its virtual sports coverage is as good as you can imagine. It features games from providers such as Golden Race, Global Bet, Leap, 1Ă—2 Virtuals, Betradar, Kiron Interactive, etc. A few of its most popular titles are:

  • GOAL
  • Italian Fast League
  • World Cup OnDemand
  • Horses 6 V2
  • Speedway OnDemand 

When you register an account and make your first deposit, you’ll receive a 100% match that goes up to $100.

Virtual Sports and iGaming Professionals

Before we sum up this article, our content365.me team wants to share a few thoughts and tips for iGaming professionals and operators looking to profit from the virtual sports’ potential.

We advise you not to overlook any product presentations from this category next time you visit the most popular iGaming events and conferences. In a fast-paced industry like ours, you shouldn’t just read about trends as they appear. Instead, you need to be ahead of the curve.

As an operator, you want to offer something unique and get your positioning before your competitors. As an affiliate manager or a writer even, you must understand the value of virtual sports products so you can present them accurately to your partners and readers.

At content365.me, we’ve recognized the potential of virtual sports and offer tailored content solutions for anyone hoping to generate revenue from this segment.

  • Reach out if you are an affiliate business that needs casino affiliate content services so we can help you boost your rankings and performance. Get quality leads and outrank your competitors.
  • If you’re a developer of virtual sports platforms, we recommend our SEO content writing solutions for your website and product pages for attracting new B2B partners and brand building.
  • If you’re a bookmaker or an online casino offering virtual sports action, contact us to discuss our iGaming content services that can ensure you get as many leads as possible.

Conclusion

The world of virtual sports is ever-growing, and the segment is seeing fast expansion similar to the one we’ve already noticed among sweepstakes casinos. The fast pace, high adrenaline, and numerous betting options are part of the reason why virtual sports action is so attractive to players. More and more gambling sites integrate this category and players from all around the world are absolutely loving it. Every provider releases unique features, and there’s always something new to try.

Players have a lot to be looking forward to when it comes to virtual sports. The segment will only grow and expand. As for iGaming professionals, like specialized casino writers, they must stay up to date if they hope for their service to stay relevant to clients and readers. Finally, operators that still haven’t included virtual sports in their offering should start working on the matter as soon as possible.

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