Virtual sports can be traced back to 1961 and IBM creating coding for a fantasy baseball game. In the UK, Horse Racing was the first sport to be “virtualised” in the late 90’s, both as an antidote to cancelled meetings in the dark winter months and as a way of occupying betting shop punters in the gap between “real” races. This virtual revolution soon spread to greyhound racing, motor sport, tennis, cycling and any number of other sports. The outcome of each race or contest is based on a computer algorithm, with the winner is found in a random and unbiased way. The explosion in online bookmaking since the turn of the century means that bettors can now wager on a huge range of virtual sports 24/7. Now you can place bets on virtual football, horse racing, tennis and more. You have the odds and all is like in a real life, but the outcome of the virtual game is computer generated.
How virtual sports works
Each sport is different, but horse racing is exactly the same as in real life (although the races are much shorted in duration) with the punter selecting a horse and receiving the advertised odds. Virtual football offers match, half-time and total goal outcomes, as well as correct score markets. Read more about metaverse gaming and virtual NBA.
How to bet on virtual sports
Make sure you are registered with your chosen UK bookmaker and then go to the virtual sports section and select your game/sport of choice. There will be a race or match off every few minutes, so make your selection, choose your stake and sit back and enjoy the action. If you win, the money will be added to your account within minutes of the outcome being settled.
What can you bet on?
- Virtual Horse Racing: A computer-generated simulation of horse racing, complete with commentary and realistic graphics.
- Virtual Greyhound Racing: Similar to virtual horse racing, but with greyhounds instead of horses.
- Virtual Football: A computer-generated simulation of a football match, complete with teams, players, and a commentator.
- Virtual Tennis: A simulated tennis match between two players, with realistic ball physics and animations.
- Virtual Basketball: A computer-generated simulation of a basketball game, complete with teams, players, and a commentator.
- Virtual Motorsports: Simulated car and motorcycle races, including Formula 1, MotoGP, and NASCAR.
Top 5 Bookmakers for Virtual Sports in the UK
- Bet365 Sports are leaders in UK sports betting and their Virtual Sports offering is excellent. There are currently 14 sports available for virtual betting, including darts, cricket, American football and basketball. There are also 4 entire leagues of football for virtual betting. There is a new event in each sport every 3 minutes. New bettors can enjoy the Bet365 Welcome offer of £50 worth of Free Bets when you deposit and wager your first £10.
- Betfred sports is a major bookmaker and has a major virtual sports operation. They offer a Horse and Greyhound “Dash” service, with races every 2 minutes. They also offer Speedway races every 3 minutes, 24 hours a day. There are 4 riders in each race, with varying odds. In all, Betfred have 11 virtual sports to choose from. The Betfred Welcome Offer is £30 in Free Bets when you wager your first £10 on any sport.
- 10Bet is a relative newcomer to the sportsbook game, but it has a superb virtual sports collection. They not only have Tennis, Football and Horse racing virtuals, they have an “Instant” section, covering 6 sports, that offers short, sharp races/matches. New customers wagering at least £15 on any vurtual sports market can claim a 50% matched initial deposit, up to £50, when you sign on. Use the code “PLAY10” to enjoy this promotion.
- William Hill Sports have long been online innovators and their virtual offering certainly passes muster. Their “Virtual World” section takes some exploring and has 3 types of virtual horse racing alone (Flat, Jumps and Sprints). There is a race of each variety every 2 minutes. There is a virtual football match starting every 3 minutes and offered markets include correct score, over-and-under goals and Both Teams to Score. The William Hill Welcome offer is a fantastic £60 worth of Free Bets and casino bonuses when you deposit and wager your first £10.
- Unibet Sports have recently revamped their virtual sports range and it is well worth a go. The graphics are superb and the virtual Bundesliga football matches use actual footage, seamlessly blended into the experience for added authenticity. There is also an entire World Cup of virtual matches.The Unibet Welcome handshake is a 1st bet moneyback offer of up to £40 if the bet loses, along with a £10 Casino Bonus.
- 10bet10bet Sportsbook Offer: Get a 50% matched bonus up to £5018+, BeGambleAware.org.
New bettors; Code PLAY10; Wager deposit & bonus 8x; Max qualifying bet stake=initial bonus; Valid 60 days; Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply; T&C apply.Read 10bet Review
- Bet365bet365: Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets. Code 365GMBLR18+, BeGambleAware.org.
New Customers Only. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code 365GMBLR can be used during registration but does not change the offer amount in any way.Read Bet365 Review365GMBLR
- BetfredBetFred Bonus: Bet £10, Get £40 in Bonuses18+, BeGambleAware.org.
UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.Read Betfred ReviewWELCOME40
Virtual sports are computer-generated events that simulate real-life sports events. These events are designed to provide a realistic and engaging betting experience, even when there are no real-life sports events available to bet on.