Legal Sports Sim Betting
Now more than ever, there is huge interest in sports simulation video games. While eSports – and eSports betting – are their own distinct market, sports sims have emerged as a powerful presence that compliments the eSports as well as carving out its own platform.
Betting on sports simulation games is becoming its own unique offering at the best online sportsbooks. These types of games offer a branded sports-themed market where bettors can put their existing strategies to good use.
While these are computer simulation games, they are governed by the real statistical data of the sports, players, and teams they represent, allowing bettors to make informed decisions when placing their wagers. As such, these aren’t just random lotto experiences – you can research the games just as you would real contests, find an edge, and exploit it build your bankroll.
To learn how and where to legally bet on video game sports sims, our guide gives you all the details.
Is Sports Sim Betting Legal?
Video game sims – in this case, sports sims – are legal to wager on in nearly every state. Only Washington and Connecticut have laws against online gambling, and these don’t seem to be enforced. We’ve never heard of any player from WA or CT getting fined or arrested for online betting, and all the top sportsbooks accept members from both states. That said, please abide by all local laws.
For the rest of the US, video game simulation betting has no barriers to entry as long as you use legitimate online sportsbooks, such as the ones we recommend. Federal laws like the Wire Act (1961) and the UIGEA (2006) don’t apply to individual bettors, which means you’re free to gamble on sports sims and other video game action online. You can learn more about current gambling laws in our legal section found in the top menu.
Best Sports Sim Betting Sites 2020
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What Is Sports Sim Betting?
As a point of clarification, there is a difference in what “sports sim” or “video game sim” means in the context of betting compared to the context of video gaming itself.
Any popular sports video game franchise – like Madden or NBA2K or FIFA – can be considered a sports sim, but for recreation, gamers actually take control and play as their favorite teams. (This is also the model for eSports, which is discussed further below.)
In betting, on the other hand, video game sims are strictly AI-driven, with no input from any player. Even the legal online sportsbooks hosting these games have no hand in setting parameters or manipulating the code – they merely set the lines. What you get is a fully automatic electronic sporting event you can wager on in real-time, the same way you would on any traditional sport.
What Kinds Of Sports Simulation Games Can You Bet On?
You can wager on a host of the best sports video games on the market. These include the biggest hitters across all major sports, and books are adding more to the menu every day.
For video game sims, the market is limited to simulations handled by known consumer titles. These include the following franchises right now, with more to come:
At various sportsbooks, you will find these game types listed under the tabs for their requisite sports, though you may also find them branded as things like eSoccer, eNBA, NFL 2020 sims, and so on. Each sportsbook is different, but the concept with video game sim betting remains the same across the board. Just remember to always shop lines between books, because each one will have slightly different odds on offer.
Additionally, you can also place bets on virtual sports, which is a distinct market from sports sims that is structured the same way (though using generic teams based off their real-world counterparts and employing in-house and third-party RNG – or random number generation – software to drive the computerized contests).
Video Game Simulation Betting Odds Explained
The types of video game sim betting lines are identical to the main lines you’d find for traditional sports betting played in the real world. These include spreads, straights, and totals, though some books sometimes offer team and player props and championship futures as well. If you know how to bet on sports, you know how to bet on simulated sports!
Point spreads are when the bookmaker handicaps the perceived stronger team by “taking” points from them and “giving” those points to the underdog. In other words, if you bet on the favorite, that favorite has to win by more than the points listed in the spread, while the underdog can lose by the given number of points and still win the wager.
Also called over/under bets, totals allow the bettor to wager on the total number of points scored between both teams in a given simulated sports matchup.
The bookmaker will pick a number, and you simply bet whether the total points will be over or under that number.
Straight bets have no handicapping and represent the easiest bet type for beginners.
Straights – also called straight moneyline bets – are popular in video game sims for this reason. Just pick a winner!
Mobile Sports Sim Betting
Mobile betting is the main way that offshore sportsbook members wager. Yes, you can sit at your computer at home and bet, and that experience is a good one, but mobile makes wagering on your favorite contests – even when they’re virtual sports matchups – a walk in the park. Literally!
Because all the top legal betting sites use web apps, all you need is a modern mobile device and an Internet connection to log in, deposit, and place your wagers. This is convenience unrivaled by most domestic sportsbooks, there’s no geo-fencing involved, and you don’t have to download apps or bother with updates.
For betting on iPhone and Android sports sims, these sites offer the best, most fluid user experiences on the market.
Live Sports Simulation Betting
Most sports simulation betting markets offer live wagering options. Because of trademark issues, the top sites can’t actually stream the games themselves on their own domains, instead relying on services like Twitch and other popular streaming platforms to broadcast the video game sims in real-time. Then, at the sportsbook itself, you can see live odds and bet on them for the duration of the contest.
Just remember that because sports sims play out much faster than their real-life counterparts, you will need to get your wagers in ASAP every time the line shifts, because those odds won’t be up for more than a few seconds! And as soon as these virtual sports results come in, your account will be credited with your win, and you will have a bigger bankroll with which to place your next live bet. As always, live betting is available via mobile, as well.
About Sports Simulation Games
Video game sims – or video game simulations – are exactly what they sound like, and if you’ve ever played a popular sports video game, you’ve certainly come across “manager” or “autoplay” game modes.
These use the game’s AI to conduct computer vs. computer matches, with the outcomes based on various factors, including the teams’ statistical ratings, historical records, player abilities, and a degree of randomness.
Sim sports science has been around for decades, with the earliest computer researchers using now-ancient room-sized machines to run baseball simulations as a showcase of computing’s potential back in the 1960s. Now, of course, you have access to millions of times that performance in your desktop computer or smartphone, and the sports sims have come along similarly.
Video game simulations are different from virtual sports, as discussed above, but they’re also different from eSports. However, there’s really only one key difference, and it’s very easy to understand.
With video game sims, sportsbooks deploy popular sports video games in their simulation modes, and you get to wager on the betting lines offered. The matchups are 100% computer controlled by the software of the games in question, with zero human input.
With eSports, the same sports video games are usually featured (as well as a host of non-sports video games), but these are played by real human individuals and teams. For eSports betting, then, you are taking into consideration not just the sports sim aspect of stats and power rankings built into the games, but also the skill and success of the professional eSports players playing them.