A pair of London-based gaming industry leaders will join forces to bring real money wagering on virtual reality sports to Nevada for the first time.
Inspired Gaming Group, which bills itself as “the leading provider of Virtual Sports,” partnered with the William Hill sportsbook to successfully pass a technical field trial within Nevada casinos.
As a result, the two companies were granted approval by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) to become the first providers of real money virtual reality sports (VR-Sports) betting services in the state. In fact, as noted by a press release issued by Inspired Gaming Group on December 9, the approval cements the company’s status as the first VR-Sports wagering provider in all of America.
In that press release Steve Rogers, who serves as Inspired Gaming Group’s CCO of Digital Games, celebrated the company’s entrance to the Nevada market:
“The successful completion of Inspired’s Virtual Sports technical field trial in Nevada is fantastic news for the business, as we bring our extensive portfolio of products to more U.S. venues than ever before.
This announcement again confirms Inspired as the world leader in Virtual Sports innovation and deployment, and we look forward to delivering cutting-edge Entertainment with an Edge to William Hill’s customers in Nevada.”
Although the practice of wagering on VR-Sports has become commonplace for European bettors over the past decade, Americans are largely unfamiliar with the concept.
VR-Sports are based on virtual reality replications of familiar sporting events, such as soccer games and horse races.
Through the use of carefully designed mathematical models and algorithms, companies like Inspired Gaming Group are able to create virtual simulations of real life games, matches, and races. Personal attributes like skill, speed, and experience can be preprogrammed into the simulation, along with external conditions like weather and even officiating errors.
In May of this year Betradar created a VR-Sports recreation of the EURO 2016 soccer tournament, allowing European bettors to back various sides during multiple simulations. Using this format, a VR-Sports event like the EURO 2016 tournament can be offered on a continuous basis, with each simulation generating completely unique – but reality-dependent – results.
The first VR-Sports events offering real money wagering are expected to launch in 2017, with William Hill affiliated casino sportsbooks displaying lines and odds along with their live sports. Products like Inspired Gaming Group’s soccer simulation Rush Football 2 Matchday and the thoroughbred racing replica Rush Horses are expected to highlight the Las Vegas rollout.
For William Hill, the U.K.’s leading sportsbook and a globally-recognized operator, the partnership with Inspired Gaming Group solidifies the company’s focus on the emerging eSports and VR-Sports market segments.
In July of this year William Hill made headlines by offering real money wagering on virtual reality horse races, held at the Plaza and Silver Sevens during a field trial.
This November, William Hill also established its foothold as the first eSports – or video games played in league and tournament formats – wagering servicer in the state of Nevada.
As for Inspired Gaming Group, the company is also planning to launch VR-Sports betting services in New Jersey – a state where wagering on real sporting events is not permitted – in a partnership with the Golden Nugget and Resorts casinos.