Virtual Sports Betting
Virtual sports betting is still a small part of online casino handle in the US, but there’s no doubt virtual sports are gaining traction in states with fully legalized online casinos.
If you’ve been considering betting on virtual sports, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about it right here. That includes:
- How do virtual sports work?
- How does virtual sports betting work?
- Which states and casinos offer virtual sports betting?
Once you have a clearer picture of virtual sports and what you can bet on, click through to any listed casino to find the best virtual sports games online in the US.
Play Virtual Sports Games Online
What are virtual sports?
Virtual sports are self-contained simulations of a real sporting event, like a football match or a horse race, and come complete with a number of betting markets.
They last for a very short period of time, usually between three and five minutes. However, this time period allows a couple of minutes to place bets and then the rest of the time for the simulation to play out on screen. At the end of the simulation, any bets you made that are winners are paid, and then the next event will begin with another period of betting.
A random number generator is at the heart of every virtual sports game to ensure different results each time and to ensure competitive betting. While virtual sports are based on real life sports, they are actually more akin to slot games than real life sports betting.
Virtual sports betting began when the first virtual sports games became available to add to online casino software. The early games were relatively simplistic and offered just a small range of bets. Today, the computer-generated graphics that characterize virtual sports simulations are so advanced that they mimic real life quite closely.
Which online casinos offer virtual sports betting?
The first thing to note with virtual sports betting in the US as a whole is that not every state permits it. Those that do often have different rules and regulations as well.
One thing to look out for in the US that is different from in Europe is that virtual sports are managed and monitored under legislation for real money online casinos rather than sports betting regulations.
Some casinos that offer virtual sports betting include:
- Caesars Casino — virtual NASCAR, virtual greyhounds, virtual motorcycles and virtual soccer.
- Golden Nugget — virtual soccer and two forms of virtual horse racing.
- BetMGM — virtual car racing, virtual soccer, virtual horse racing, virtual greyhounds.
- PlaySugarHouse — virtual motor car racing, virtual horse racing, virtual greyhound racing, virtual soccer.
- Betfair Casino — virtual horse racing, virtual soccer, virtual greyhounds, virtual motor racing.
- Borgata — virtual car racing, virtual soccer, virtual horse racing, virtual greyhounds.
- Betway — virtual horse racing, virtual greyhounds, virtual cycling, virtual motor racing, virtual speedway, virtual trotting.
- Bet365 — virtual soccer, virtual horse racing, virtual speedway, virtual cycling, virtual darts, virtual football, virtual greyhounds, virtual trotting, virtual cricket, virtual motorsports and virtual tennis.
Virtual sports betting apps
To access virtual sports betting online and from a phone or tablet, your best option is to download the dedicated casino app (where available) for each of the main casinos that are available within your state.
Some of the top apps for virtual sports betting to look out for include:
It is also possible to play virtual sports on site at a number of resort casinos across the United States — notably in Nevada but also in an increasing number of locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, too.
Online casino bonuses for Virtual Sports
The first thing to note here is that almost all major sports betting and casino sites offer some form of introductory bonus offer, many of which can be used on virtual sports betting. It’s advisable, depending on which state you live in, to look around the various options open to you online to find the best value deal.
You can do this by clicking on the offer and checking out the terms and conditions. Look closely at the deposits you need to make in order to access the offer and especially at any wagering requirements that are attached to the bonus.
Information can often be found at the foot of the promotion page under a link to the terms and conditions for the offer. These offers can give you some valuable additional funds to play with when you start betting on virtual sports, so it is well worth checking out what is available to get the best deal possible.
See our current top casino bonuses in table above.
How to bet on Virtual Soccer, Horses & Football
Although each online casino has its own list of virtual sports you can bet on, there are still a limited number of virtual sports offerings you can find online. Most online casinos offer a similar number of virtual sports and similar formats. The most popular are:
- Virtual horse racing
- Virtual soccer
- Virtual football (American)
- Virtual basketball
- Virtual motorsports (car racing, motorcycle racing)
- Virtual greyhound racing
Some sites offer a range of other virtual sports that can include darts, speedway, cricket, tennis, ice hockey, trotting and cycling.
However, the industry is rapidly developing, and companies that create virtual sports expand the range of games they offer regularly.
What virtual sports bets can I make?
The types of bets you can make on virtual sports depend very much on the virtual sport in question. The most popular and common bets you make on the real-life version of the sport are likely available for the virtual sport version. For example, in virtual horse racing you can bet on:
- Winner of a race
- Back a horse each way to finish in the paying positions in a race.
- Forecast or tricast bet
In virtual soccer, which has a different format from a race, you can bet on:
- Which of the two teams you think will win the match
- Whether you think the game will be a draw.
- Number of goals in a game
- How many goals will be scored in the first half, etc.
Although the range of betting markets available for virtual sports isn’t as extensive as real-life sports betting markets, you will always find the most popular betting lines.
Virtual sports betting vs. esports betting
It’s easy to confuse esports betting with virtual sports betting, but they are two completely different things.
In esports betting, you bet on either an individual or team of individuals who control the video game action you can see on screen through a controller or PC keyboard/mouse. The players and their skills and abilities compared to their opponents will decide the outcome of the game.
Samples of esports betting markets you’ll find on a sports betting site include:
- League of Legends
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Dota 2
- Call of Duty
- Rocket League
In virtual sports, there is absolutely no human element involved. Each game is run completely by the software and the random number generator to decide the result.
Virtual sports are based solely on random game and race simulations created by the software providers (including Inspired Gaming, BetRadar, Golden Race and Global Bet).
Virtual sports vs. sim sports betting
A number of sports now offer their own “virtual” or “online” computer game leagues and tournaments for people to play in. NBA2K20 is one game that the NBA has used to offer computer game players the chance to play a simulated sport. Others include FIFA20, Madden 20, and NASCAR and the Formula 1 esports series.
In all these cases, these games are very much like standard sports and esports betting in that you bet on the skills of the competitors in each game against their opponent. There is no random element involved in these simulated real-life games; it’s down to the skill of the player or team in order to achieve success.
In virtual sports, there is no human or skill element involved as the simulation is run entirely based on the program code and the random number generator. The only similarity is that both use the online world in order to be accessible to players.
Is virtual sports betting safe and fair?
Absolutely. Virtual sports betting is as safe and fair as you can get when it comes to any form of sports betting, as the outside influences that can sometimes change the outcome of a real-life game don’t exist.
For example, how many times has a bad refereeing decision, a mistake from an individual or team, or even the weather played a part in deciding the outcome of a sporting event? In virtual sports, that doesn’t happen.
Virtual games work from a complicated program that simulates a sports event from start to finish based on a number of parameters. A random number generator decides the outcome of the event. These parameters and nothing more decide the outcome of a virtual sports event.
This programming is checked and verified independently before being allowed to be released to customers so you can be sure that virtual sports offer safe and fair gaming to customers at all reputable sites.
How to make a deposit for virtual sports betting
You don’t have to do anything different when you set up an account to enjoy virtual sports betting. You simply open a standard account in the following manner:
- Visit the site you wish to join and click the join button (remember to check for any details of a new player bonus on the site that you may be eligible for).
- Register your details with the site. Once you have entered this information, the site will process your application, and you will usually be confirmed as a new member within a few seconds.
- Head on over to the banking section and make a deposit into your account. Double check here for any bonus offers available to you as you won’t want to miss out on any free offers available.
- Once you have made a deposit into your account, navigate over to the dedicated virtual sports section of the site.
- Browse through the available virtual sports on the site until you find one you want to bet on. Then click on your chosen market to add that to your bet slip.
- Enter the amount you wish to wager on your bet and click the place bet button.
- You have now placed your bet, so sit back and watch the action unfold onscreen.
- When the result has come in, you can then place another bet if you wish.
Match betting — virtual sports
If you want to bet on a match of virtual football, virtual soccer or virtual basketball, then the great news is that if you are used to making basic bets on real sports events, you will find what is offered in virtual sports is very similar.
There may not be quite as many individual markets you can bet on compared with a real-life game (for example you won’t find a first goal-scorer bet in virtual soccer games), but the popular match betting markets, such as picking the winner of a game or whether it will be a draw, are available.
Virtual sports betting tips
- Keep it simple. Choose markets that have fewer options and a smaller range of odds to enhance your chances of landing a winning bet.
- Virtual sports events come around very quickly, usually once every three to five minutes depending on the sport. As such, whatever your budget for a session is, make sure you don’t spend all of it on just the first few events.
- If you are not enjoying much success with one form of virtual sports betting, then try another. Virtual Sports games are set up very differently, even when they appear similar.
- Your chances of landing a winner in a 10-runner horse race are much less than in a four-bike speedway race, for example. Like playing the slots, you don’t need specific knowledge about virtual sports to help inform your betting as it is powered by a random number generator.
Virtual sports betting FAQ
Virtual sports betting operates under the casino licensing system in the United States rather than the sports betting licensing system. Virtual sports governing bodies therefore include the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, among others.
Although virtual sports betting does feel as though you are betting on a real sporting event to an extent, the fact that it is powered by a random number generator, rather than the abilities and skills of the participants, does make it different from standard sports betting.
At best it is an approximation of some of the more popular betting markets on certain sports. However, it is certainly realistic enough for people to enjoy it when betting on their preferred sports is unavailable.
The rules for wagering on virtual sports are the same as for any gambling in your particular state. You need to be of legal age to gamble on virtual sports — the same as you would be to gamble on any other event such as a lottery, sports betting or casino games. In the United States this is typically 21 years of age, though some states offer some forms of betting from the age of 18 onwards.
This depends entirely on your virtual sports betting provider. If your provider will allow you to use PayPal to fund your account, then you can use PayPal to pay for your virtual sports gaming.
Virtual sports betting is a rapidly growing market, particularly in Europe and Asia, but also now in North America. There is a huge push to grow virtual sports betting across the United States, both in states where this form of betting is now legal, and in other states that may well legalize sports betting and casino wagering in the near future.
Virtual sports betting is more like betting on a slot machine than it is like betting on real sports. That’s because, as for a slot game, a random number generator decides the outcome of your wager. Although you bet on Virtual Sports as you would a real sport, how the result is determined is very different and much more akin to playing a slot.