For those who remember when sports betting involved paper slips and physical books, the advent of online sports betting may have seemed transformational enough. But now, the future is turning to virtual reality and its role in bets.
William Hill has recently announced a move into the virtual reality space after teaming up with Unit9, the digital production company. The result is an innovative horse-racing prototype called ‘Get in the Race’. It takes the app experience further – combining it with the excitement of live betting, and the Google Cardboard viewer – with a virtual reality viewer, which allows the player to experience the race in a new, rich way, with real time data that is collected from the horses themselves using GPS tracers.
The result is incredibly futuristic. The players get to see the horse from the jockey’s own view, as though they were riding in the saddle themselves. As well as this new slant on the racing experience, the user gets to see a range of data on their racing horse – including their stride length, racing heart rate, remaining distance to run and the all-important race position.
The data for the VR experience has been gathered from a live race at Kempton Park, which has been used to recreate the events of the day to incredible accuracy.
The company’s director of development and innovation, Crispin Nieboer, has explained that William Hill is working hard to develop rich, engaging new ways to make the betting experience more exciting, and to prevent it from feeling ‘dry’. He explained that the objective is to enhance the existing thrill of the race, and provide a broader experience that is more akin to a Las Vegas style entertainment extravaganza than the basic utilitarian ‘win or lose’ scenario.
Creating a VR betting shop
The company is also looking at ways to make its betting shops more exciting by introducing VR headsets. Plans will also see race viewers have the opportunity to sit on top of devices that resemble a racehorse and experience realistic movements that are powered by data gathered from the chosen horse. In essence, they will be able to experience the physicality of the race as it happens – not just experiencing the race visually, but also physically, as though riding the horse for themselves.
Quite appropriately, this new app was unveiled at the Digital Festival in Shoreditch, which is perhaps the spiritual home of digital development. It signalled an exciting new movement into what could be the future of gaming and a move to take a traditional market to a newer, younger generation.
The betting shop of the future
The number of high street betting shops have almost halved in the past ten years. Conceptually, the image of a high street bookie is one that dates back to the 1960s, and they have failed to capture the imagination of a young, increasingly digitised audience in their existing format.
Online casino and betting models are helping to make the world of sports betting more relevant to today’s experience-focused young people, with many still enjoying big events which they will often attend in person and enjoy betting on. However, this move into virtual reality shows that there is scope to engage the so-called Millennials and upcoming Generation Z into a world of sports betting that they may not yet be aware of, nor particularly interested in.
Tomorrow’s betting shop looks set to be replaced by a 360 degree betting experience which can be accessed through a variety of means. Users are likely to enjoy placing bets on their app or online, and will attend large sporting events. Additionally, with the right experience draw in place, they may well complement this with time in a virtual reality-supported, augmented physical betting shop, where they can try out the latest high-tech VR equipment and ‘feel’ the event in a way that has never been possible before.
Of course, older fans of the races will say that this adrenaline rush was always a feature of attending sporting fixtures in person and having a flutter there and then, without gadgets and gizmos. But this draw to the thrill of the race – and the thrill of the bet – could be where the generations converge, even if one prefers to do it socially by a racetrack or a betting shop TV with friends, and if another prefers to do it wearing a headset and ‘living’ the race as though they were actually riding the horse.
Either way, for those betting companies prepared to invest in VR equipment and innovations, digital assets and a far more superior, attractive and welcoming high street physical presence, there is hope for the future of sports betting – and potentially a very attractive, lucrative future.
How does virtual sports betting work?
Virtual sports betting is a type of betting that allows you to place bets on virtual sports events that are simulated by a computer program. These events are designed to mimic real sports events, such as football, horse racing, and basketball. Virtual sports events are typically much shorter than real sports events, with each event lasting only a few minutes.
Virtual sports betting works by allowing you to place bets on the outcome of these virtual events. You can place bets on a wide range of markets, including the winner of the event, the score at the end of the event, and the number of goals or points scored by each team or player. The odds for each market are determined by the virtual betting app or platform, based on the likelihood of each outcome occurring.
When you place a bet on a virtual sports event, the virtual betting app or platform uses a random number generator to determine the outcome of the event. The outcome is then displayed on the screen, and any winning bets are paid out accordingly.
Virtual sports betting can be a fun and exciting way to bet on sports, especially when there are no real-life events to bet on. It is important to note, however, that virtual sports betting is not the same as real sports betting, and the outcomes of virtual events are determined by a computer program rather than real-world factors. As with any form of betting, it is important to gamble responsibly and to only bet what you can afford to lose.
How to win on virtual betting
There is no guaranteed way to win on virtual betting, as the outcomes of virtual sports events are determined by a random number generator and are therefore unpredictable. However, there are some virtual betting tips that you can follow to increase your chances of success.
One of the most important virtual sports betting tips is to do your research. This means studying the form of the teams or players involved in the virtual event, as well as the track record of the virtual betting app or platform. By doing your research, you can gain a better understanding of the factors that are likely to influence the outcome of the event, and make more informed betting decisions.
Another important virtual betting tip is to manage your bankroll effectively. This means setting a budget for your virtual betting activities and sticking to it, regardless of whether you are winning or losing. It is also important to avoid chasing losses, as this can lead to reckless betting behavior and potentially harmful financial losses.
Finally, it is important to use a reputable virtual betting app or platform, and to take advantage of any bonuses or promotions that may be available. This can help to maximize your winnings and minimise your losses, and can also make virtual sports betting a more enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Overall, virtual betting tips can help you to increase your chances of success when betting on virtual sports events. By doing your research, managing your bankroll effectively, and using a reputable virtual betting app or platform, you can improve your odds of winning and make the most of your virtual sports betting experience.