In virtual sports, computer software plays out sporting events using algorithms to determine the results, accounting for participants’ skills and real-life occurrences. Some common virtual sports are football, horse racing, motorsports, and basketball. Sportsbooks find this new realm very interesting, as it’s a way for them to accept bets without the need of a real-world event.
Three Technologies Reshaping Virtual Sports Betting
Thanks to technology, sports betting has grown significantly. The same is happening in other related fields as well. For example, in 2019, there were 45.9 million fantasy sports players in the United States. While that might seem like an impressive number, there’s still much room for improvement when it comes to immersion, payment facilitation, security, and privacy in the industry as a whole.
Blockchain is a relatively new method of recording data that protects it from modifications or hacking. Every block in the chain retains a list of transactions, and for any new transaction on the blockchain, a record is added to each participant’s ledger. Cryptographic registers will eventually become the standard for international transactions.
This technology is a way to reduce deposit and withdrawal times, contingent on regulatory compliance. Blockchains can also reduce back-office tasks by automating document collection and user verification. This will lower virtual sports betting operators’ overhead costs, allowing them to focus more on consumer acquisition.
Some online betting operators already use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, notably those regulated in places like Curaçao, Antigua, and Barbuda. However, blockchain technology remains underused as of today. In the gambling industry, the tech can enhance security and privacy, which is relevant considering that the ecosystem facilitates hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions each year.
While COVID has brought players to the online realm, a critical aspect still lacking in the sports betting and online casino industries is an immersive experience coupled with 3D social interaction.
The next step for virtual sports is to embrace VR by developing applications to immerse players in the betting environment. Currently, we have games on our phones like Pokémon GO which showcase the augmented reality capabilities of our mobile devices. Virtual reality will take that a step further by placing the user in a simulated universe.
In sports betting, we will eventually be able to experience games through VR headsets, where we’ll view sporting events from whichever position we so choose. We’ll gain the perspective of an official on the ground or even an opposing team. Further on, users will merge game images with augmented reality, thus facilitating bets in real-time without the need for a keyboard or mouse.
Also known as gaming on-demand, cloud gaming runs games on remote servers and streams them to a player’s device. This is in contrast to running games on consoles or other hardware. Although the technology is already widely used in video games, sports betting isn’t following a similar trajectory, which is surprising since both use cases bring comparable benefits. With cloud gaming, end-users will no longer have to fuss about hardware requirements. All that’s needed is stable high-speed internet connectivity.
In today’s post-COVID world, gaming operators are experiencing a surge in new players and activity, causing a longer response time, especially during peak hours. Websites often crash during large events like the NBA Finals or Super Bowl, and the same is bound to occur for big virtual sports games. With the help of server farms, cloud computing can play a part in alleviating a jump in traffic when necessary. There’s nothing more critical than this benefit when it comes to real-time betting.
Here Comes the Metaverse
An article about innovative technologies wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the metaverse. In the future, the physical and virtual worlds will converge. Although no one really knows what that will look like just yet, here’s hoping that the merger will propel the virtual sports betting industry forward by leaps and bounds.