One of the drawbacks of sports betting is that it is limited by the schedules of the real world, with players needing to rest and travel, preventing them from performing 24/7 to entertain us. Thankfully, virtual sports has stepped in to fill that gap, and Global Bet CEO Daniel Grabher joined CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero to discuss its growth.
Virtual sports have come along way from the days when it was a virtual horse racing display at the casino, with graphics pulled from the Nintendo 64 seemingly. “Global Bet, you know, our mission is to make it as lifelike as possible because we are targeting the next generation of players, which are kind of familiar already with computer games, high visual content, you know, Playstation stuff and whatever,” Grabher noted.
The current explosion in virtual sports products is thanks to the Italian market, which first saw the potential in the product and regulated it well. “It started back, let’s say, five or six years ago in Italy, where the regulator came up as a pioneer with law for virtual sports, which is still very successful, so we’re having like 25% of global internet sports betting revenues only placed on virtual sports,” he said. “So this is a proof of concept that it works, and you can see that other regulators, other markets are just following the Italian model now, so exciting times for virtuals.”
While the product is really finding its groove online, there might not be a more fun venue to take it in and place a few bets than at a casino, where a crowd can all cheer on their bets, and moan their losses together. “Virtual sports is still, if you look at the stats, more based in land based operations, maybe because of the atmosphere,” he said. “You have this group feeling, you can place bets on games, have the thrill of a live football match and all those things. I think it’s a must have, as you can see in many land based operations globally that virtual sports is a must have in their product offering.”
For a betting product that emulates something so real, but does it purely in code, it’s really taking a respectable slice of the market already. In the U.K., Grabher noted, “It’s generating 50% more than bets on live tennis, which is not that bad, you know? And I think that we’re going to see increasing numbers after the regulation changes for virtual sports.”