A virtual sports product is typically a hybrid of a sportsbook and online casino that uses simulations of real life sporting events and teams together with Random Number Generator (RNG) to produce results. Whether it is a roulette or a slot, RNG generates results that are then dressed up in "smoke and mirrors" and displayed on a user interface.
In an online casino, the roulette wheel doesn't have to turn and the slot rings don't really have to spin - the result is known right away. However, simulation of a real life experience is needed to keep the gamblers thrilled, intrigued and excited. For this purpose all results are presented with a delay that may vary between 30 and 60 seconds.
In a virtual horse racing, a race is simulated from start to finish and the connection between getting an RNG result and using it to calculate the final race positions seems rather straight forward. Simulation is really critical in virtual sports products as it allows creating an emotional attachment between a game and a player. And this attachment goes far beyond winning or losing money.
In a virtual football, the use of realistic teams and familiar tournaments produces a strong emotional affiliation with the teams that people support in their real life. This affiliation keeps users within a game even when a return to player (RTP) rate is low.
Next year, with the FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil, many sportsbook operators will have a good chance to find new monetization strategies. Adding virtual football to their portfolio of online sports products based on real life event betting can pay off very well and allow them to win a new lucrative niche. Of course, for this to happen, sportsbook and betting operators should invest in the web and mobile app development technologies and graphics design. And the sooner they'll realize the value and start doing it, the higher the chance of doubling or even tripling their revenues during the 2014 World Cup.
Based on Kevin Reid's article "Virtual Reality" published in iGaming Business, #80, May/June 2013.
(Picture source - GamesRadar.Com)