Legally Betting On Virtual Sports
Sometimes there are pockets of inactivity during the year where there seem to be no available competitions to wager on. If entertainment betting isn't your thing and wagering on politics just doesn’t offer enough betting opportunities, then perhaps wagering on Virtual Sports is the best bet for you.
Is gambling on virtual sports legal? You bet! Betting lines on virtual sports are offered at in-country and offshore sportsbooks and are growing in popularity. The action provided by virtual sports never stops, as games are occurring at all hours of the day, every day of the year. The best virtual sports betting sites are open now, ready to accept your wager.
Best of all is that virtual sports allow bettors to control their own schedules and bet on sports at any time of their choosing. Competitive team sports, racing, and roulette games offer a variety of betting options, but there really is no limit to the competitions, and betting lines, that virtual sports can provide. Whether it be by mobile, online, or in-person, legally betting on virtual sports could be the right choice for you.
Is It Legal To Bet On Virtual Sports?
Yes, it is legal to bet on virtual sports. For Americans looking to wager on virtual sports have two options. If you live in a state that has regulated gaming following the repeal of PASPA, then you can visit a local sportsbook that offers virtual sports and place a bet. Your other option is to wager on virtual sports with an offshore sportsbook operating online, which US gaming laws deem to be legal in all states except for Connecticut and Washington.
Best Sites For Legal Virtual Sports Betting
What Kind Of Virtual Sports Are Available To Bet On
The most common types of games seen available for legal virtual sports betting are team competitions and racing. Virtual sports can be created for any competition imaginable and is not limited to the options available below.
- Horse Racing
- Greyhound Racing
- Auto Racing
- Camel Racing
- Color/Number Lottery Ball Betting
- Spin & Win Roulette Style Games
Virtual Sports Betting Lines And Odds
When betting on virtual sports, you will see many of the same betting lines and odds offered that you would find on traditional sports. For betting on virtual athletic contests between teams, you will find point spreads, totals, American odds, and various prop bets. There are also live odds offered for in-game betting.
Betting on virtual racing offers American odds on which racer will win, where racers will place, and whether or not a given participant will show. There are also roulette and lottery-style virtual sports games, where odds are offered on colors and numbers that will be chosen or landed on.
Mobile Betting On Virtual Sports
Virtual sports betting on the go is a reality with our top sportsbooks' web apps, which are accessible through any internet-ready mobile device. Just simply navigate your mobile web browser to the sportsbook's URL, and the graphical interface will adhere to your screen’s dimensions, offering an app-like experience without the need to download anything. The best part is that these web apps offer heightened security that apps cannot provide.
Difference Between Virtual Sports And Esports
Betting on esports and virtual sports have a lot in common, but there's one significant difference that separates the two games held in a digital environment.
Although both are technically video games, virtual sports are sporting events that are a computer simulation where the betting odds for each avatar winning are determined randomly by the sportsbook's algorithm.
On the other hand, esports are multiplayer video games played by teams or individuals who compete against one another to accomplish various in-game objectives. In esports, the odds work just like traditional sports since both involve real people—either professional or amateur—playing against each, and their match performance determines the outcome.
Virtual Sports Betting From Esports Games
During the coronavirus pandemic, online sportsbooks needed new and unique ways for players to bet on familiar but unknown outcomes at a time with a lack of sporting events.
One solution oddsmakers have found to be successful is accepting wagers on virtual sports using an AI simulation of a video game title that would typically be played by real people during an esports match or tournament.
For example, video games in the traditional sports genre—FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA 2K, MLB The Show, etc.—are played by tens of millions of people around the world.
Gamers who are familiar with the mega-successful sports titles will know players can set the AI's difficulty range from "easy" to "very hard" and then play against the computer without the need for another player.
However, the sports games also have an option that allows anyone to set the AI difficulty for both teams and then watch the computer play a head-to-head match—against itself!
In the United States, legally betting on Madden NFL 2020 and NBA 2K20 simulations were among the first popular alternatives offered at sportsbooks during a time without real-life sporting events.
Oddsmakers now regularly post lines that include the date and time for a live stream of the virtual sports video game simulation. And because "franchise mode" allows users to sim full seasons, sportsbooks can also have the computer play out various postponed regular reasons, playoffs, and championships for—as well as seasons both in the past and future.
In a 2016 feature from Sports Illustrated, rapper T-Pain recounted better times between fellow hip hop stars Lil Wayne and Birdman, where the two multi-millionaire recording artists would bet thousands of dollars on computer-simulated matches from the Madden NFL video game franchise.
"Lil Wayne and Birdman would bet $10,000 a game on Madden, and they would just let the computer play each other. They would bet that a team they pick would beat the team that the other guy picked, and they didn't play the game. They just let the computer play each other, and they would just bet $10,000 on that game. I thought that was the most ballingest s--- I had ever seen in my life."
Whether Lil Wayne and Birdman wagering their hard-earned fat stacks of cash on Madden was the birth of "virtual sports video game gambling" is something we may never know.
Either way, oddsmakers now offer betting lines, futures, parlays, and even in-play wagering for live-streamed on esports video game simulation—all from their websites and mobile apps.
And considering they've already accepted bets on a Madden NFL-simulated replay of Super Bowl 54 between the Kansas Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, you can bet it's only a matter of time before sportsbooks recreate and take bets on AI-sim rematches for the greatest games in sports history.
Virtual Sports vs. Esports: Better For Bets?
Determining whether betting on virtual sports or esports is better comes down to personal preference. Still, one of the two has some clear advantages if winning money is the sole reason for placing a bet legally.
Because the outcome of simulated sports is determined by a computer algorithm's random number generator (RNG), virtual sports betting has an edge in terms of consistency and profitability.
The virtual sports odds posted by the sportsbook are literally the exact chances of winning. Simulations take place in a vacuum, and a number of real-life variables found in esports, as well as traditional sports, are completely removed. For example, virtual sports do not have injuries, fatigue, weather, crowd noise, gameplans from coaches, on-the-fly audibles, etc.
Sportsbooks can offer betting lines, parlays, prop bets, futures, and live wagering on virtual sports all 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and all 365 days of the year. In other words: Betting on sports simulations only stops when you do.
However, most would probably agree that esports, like traditional sports, are far more entertaining and engaging to watch and bet on compared to virtual sports.
It's human nature to prefer stories about other people, and esports allows gamers to not only compete against each other but also to "role play" like characters in a wide range of genres like sci-fi, medieval, military, sports, etc.
Both fans and bettors love the drama, trash-talking, crowd energy, and memes that esports brings. No artificial intelligence has successfully passed the Turing Test—the imitation game designed by Alan Turing, the father of computer science and AI, to determine whether a machine's intelligence and behavior is indistinguishable from a human.
Until that happens, virtual sports betting will always lack the emotional highs and lows as well as the personalities that players competing in esports have every time they enter a match.
Virtual sports are a lot like online slots in a way. The "true" odds of winning a bet are known ahead of time, and the lack of variables means there are very few factors to influence what happens during a simulated match, race, etc. Whether a bet on esports is won comes down to how well you can beat the oddsmaker when they "predict" and allow you to place wagers.
Esports odds are based on the perceived talent level of a team or individual, how well they match up against the opposition, the game's historical data and trends, and other factors—such a patch that may change the meta after game developers "buff" (strengthen) or "nerf" (weaken) specific strategies, items, skills, etc.
Tens of millions of people play RNG slots every day, so you may disagree with the notion that virtual sports is "less fun" and may even find it a lot more enjoyable since it's an objectively more relaxed environment.
And because a return on investment is theoretically easier than esports or traditional sports, betting on virtual sports may even become your new favorite way to gamble online.
Ultimately, your preference wins out because online sportsbooks offer hundreds of ways to bet on both virtual sports and esports at all times. So regardless of which you choose to wager on, the oddsmakers will always have you covered.