A pair of companies have teamed up to bring bets on simulated NFL games to US sports betting.
Game creator Aristocrat Gaming and tech services Inspired Entertainment will work together to bring virtual NFL games to a variety of markets via sports betting operators, lottery providers, and casinos.
Aristocrat Gaming Hector Fernandez said in a statement that this new frontier of betting is “ground-breaking.”
“Through Inspired, this NFL license expansion into virtual sports presents a ground-breaking entertainment option that’s never been done before. As part of our overall NFL strategy, we are thrilled to tap into the global appeal the NFL offers to current and new fans and casino, sports betting, and lottery players.”
What is virtual US sports betting?
In virtual sports betting, bettors play a fictional or historical game or competition with, in many cases, real athletes and teams.
For example, historic horse racing (HHR) is a virtual sport that’s popular in states like Kentucky. Bettors gamble on races from the past (hence “historic) in the same way they’d bet on a live race. In many cases, they can review limited information about the race and the horses involved before putting their money on win, place, or show.
Aristocrat and Inspired’s collaboration will produce a product that’s slightly different than HHRs. In their offering, bettors will bet on fictional games, not historical ones. Though the games that bettors can gamble on aren’t real, they will feature teams with real NFL logos. Additionally, a random number generator picks the winner of the game.
Neither Aristocrat nor Inspired has revealed details about the virtual sports gaming experience. We don’t know if bettors will watch a condensed version of the game. Or if there’s an option to jump to the final score. Additionally, we don’t know what kind of information will be available about the teams before placing a bet.
Regardless, Inspired says virtual sports “mimic the experience of real sports betting.” And that “customers can bet on many of the same markets they are used to seeing on a standard sportsbook.”
The virtual game platform will be available online and at brick-and-mortar locations, Inspired CEO Brooks Pierce said.
Benefits of the Aristocrat-Inspired virtual NFL game partnership
Arguably the biggest benefit to virtual sports is they give bettors a sense of action even when the sport is out of season. So, when virtual NFL games go live in betting markets, users will be able to be on NFL “games” year-round.
Additionally, bettors that prefer the NFL can gamble on virtual games during the week between real NFL games.
Overall, the move seems like a smart one for the NFL. It will keep NFL bettors on the hook in the offseason. Also, it will likely serve to increase the brand’s popularity both in the United States and abroad.