If you walk into your local betting shop before the first race of the day has started, you’ll likely see punters gambling on what looks like horse racing. What you are actually witnessing is the phenomenon of virtual sports betting.
This allows you to gamble on a range of virtual sports that are backed by water-tight software algorithms – subsequently ensuring that you can bet in a safe and secure environment.
As is the case with most gambling products that initially make their way to land-based bookmakers, you can now find dozens of virtual sports betting games online.
If this sounds like something you’d like to explore further, be sure to read our mini-guide on Virtual Sports Betting.
What is Virtual Sports Betting?
In a nutshell, virtual sports betting is a software-backed gambling game that allows you to bet on virtual sports. This could include anything from virtual horse racing, greyhound racing, football, and more.
The overarching benefit of playing virtual sports betting games is that they are fast, fun, and 100% true and fair. Regarding the last point, the underlying software is backed by regulated developers that must hold a Gambling Commission license.
In terms of the games themselves, the process works largely in the same way as any other sports betting event. Nevertheless, let’s look at a quick example to clear the mist.
- You fancy betting on the horse racing, but all of the racing cards have been completed for the day. As such, you head over to the virtual horse racing department of your chosen betting site.
- There are just 90 seconds until the next race starts, so you will be presented with the racing card.
- Just like a real-world horse race, there will be a fixed number of runners. All horses will be assigned fixed odds.
- The probability of each horse winning is proportionate to the underlying odds. For example, if the horse is Even Money, then there will be just under a 50% chance of it winning (taking into account a small house-edge).
- You choose a horse and the betting slip populates, subsequently allowing you to enter your stake.
- You place your stake and wait for the race to start. Once it does, you’ll be able to view the entire race on-screen.
- If your horse won, the winnings will be paid into your betting account instantly.
The above concept remains constant regardless of what virtual sports game you are playing. For example, if playing virtual football, you’ll be presented with a range of betting markets pre-match. This will not only include the win-lose-draw markets, but in some cases, handicaps, corners, and yellow cards! Once your the game starts, you’ll be able to watch the highlights in real-time!
Is Virtual Sports Betting Safe?
One of the biggest misconceptions in the online gambling space centres on safety. Whether it’s online roulette, blackjack, or virtual sports betting – newbie players often question the fairness of software-based games. However, it is important to recognize that the UK online gambling space is heavily regulated – especially when it concerns software games.
First and foremost, all online betting sites must be regulated by the Gambling Commission if it seeks to offer its services to UK players. The betting site must obtain a license before it can launch, which is no easy feat.
Furthermore, virtual sports betting games are not actually created by the operators themselves. Instead, games are built by software developers. Once again, if a software developer wishes to create games for the UK market, it must also hold a Gambling Commission license.
However, before the game can be launched to the UK market, it must first go through a certification process. This means that the game will be sent to a Testing House. Such establishments are tasked with testing the underlying software out to ensure that each game is true and fair. If it isn’t, the certification application will be rejected.
Only when the Testing House approves the virtual sports betting game will it appear at online betting sites. Importantly, Testing Houses must also be regulated and approved by the Gambling Commission, so the safety and integrity of each virtual sports betting game is protected on three key fronts.