The global pandemic crisis may have led to a decline in wagering on real life sports matches, but eSports and virtual sports, like virtual football betting, have picked up the slack. That’s because UK bookies have been required to find alternative means to draw players to their sites and these markets seem to be the ticket.
That being said, virtual has already increased in volume for many brands even before COVID-19. For instance, Bet365, Coral and Betway are among several UK bookies that have put in a solid effort to enhance their virtual sports offering. This includes introducing promotions that target the simulated sports market, including sign up offers for new players.
Even London-listed gaming operator 888 Holdings is introducing new virtual sports games on 888Sport. It recently announced in June that it would be extending its partnership with Leap Gaming. The 3D virtual sports portfolio will include virtual football, tennis, horse racing, trotting, greyhounds, velodrome and speedway titles.
With so many leading football bookies in the UK looking to capitalize on the popularity of these simulated betting markets, especially when there is still no knowing when professional sports leagues, competitions and events will return to normal, there is a very good chance that virtual football and others will continue to thrive.
Why Are Virtual Sports and eSports So Popular?
Aside from the obvious lack of mainstream sports markets to bet on due to the coronavirus, it’s important to note that virtual sports and eSports betting previously gained popularity in the last decade among Millennials. This generation of sports bettors grew up playing (and often continue to play) virtual sports, eSports and fantasy sports.
In many ways virtual sports and eSports have changed the way we watch sports. Take eSports for example, instead of watching players compete on a field or race track, the players on these teams compete sitting behind PC screens as they play first-person shooter games like Counter-Strike, battle royale games like Fornite, or high speed strategy games like StarCraft.
Pre-pandemic, these events were held in massive stadiums filled with tens of thousands of fans cheering on the players as they attempted to win the huge cash prize pot. For now, during the COVID crisis, these events simply take place via a live stream on the internet as they once did, long before their popularity evolved them into multi-million-dollar-event stadium fillers.
As for virtual sports, as the name implies, these are digital games based on real sports, like football, tennis, greyhounds, horse racing, motor sports and so on. They are a selection of scheduled fixed odds games that use a random number generator (RNG) to decide the outcome. Punters watch the simulated game playout via video stream.
Punters like virtual sports for a number of reasons. Among the top reasons are that bettors are very familiar with the product and do not need to wait for a live match to watch their favorite sport. They simply login and access the virtual sports schedule to enjoy all the action. Even for those who aren’t familiar with this type of betting activity, it’s easy to take part. You don’t necessarily need to be knowledgeable about the sport to play. Additionally, typically bettors need to wait only between 90 seconds and three minutes to know the result of their bet.
Not Just a Pandemic Fad
Even though virtual football and other virtual sports may be new to some bettors, it has been steadily gaining ground over the past few years, long before the pandemic. For instance, players bet $600 million in the first 12 months after virtual sports betting was introduced in Greece in 2017. Likewise, in Italy, the share of virtual betting increased two times from 1.9% in 2017 to 3.8% in 2019.
Last year, Marin Wachter, the CEO and founder of virtual sports supplier Golden Race, revealed that virtual football was responsible for 79% of the company’s GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue) for 2019. Wachter believes that virtual sports has incredible potential to surpass sports betting revenue in the future, and he’s not the only one. According to E.B. Tucker, a senior analyst for Strategic Investor and Strategic Trader, based on US gambling trends in recent years, he believes that virtual sports betting will be the next $100 billion betting market in the nation.
Of course, for bookies to find success with virtual sports, they need to make sure that they are offering a quality product to customers, including cutting edge graphics, animations, streaming, a wide variety of sports and state-of-the-art RNG to ensure the fairness of the final outcome of the game.
Since this isn’t a problem for most of the major UK sportsbooks, virtual sports has proven and continues to prove itself to be a profitable business because of its low operating costs and consistent margins.
The reality is that the longer it takes for mainstream sports to return, the greater the odds that punters who are new to virtual sports will become more familiar with them and likely fonder of them as well. This being the case, the market’s growing fan base only serves to increase its profitability, which means its very likely that virtual sports will be more than a pandemic fad, with more bookies keen to invest in them for the long term.
Top Software Developers In The Online Bingo Industry
The Bingo industry is one of the fastest-growing segments in online casinos that require continuous up-gradation of software, year-after-year. These casino sites thrive on software quality to attract new players and provide an engrossing gaming experience. Obviously, bingo sites don’t make their software; they purchase it from skilled bingo software developers.
Quality software allows the bingo game to run smoothly for quick gameplay. Further, the visual clarity and sound effects by top quality bingo software make online bingo games more and more realistic.
The UK’s most reputed bingo comparison website – www.bingosites.net, helps you choose the highest quality, UK regulated bingo sites. All these sites have top software developers and offer fair and trusted welcome bonuses too.
Types of Bingo Software
Downloadable Bingo Software
Non-Downloadable or Instant Play Software
Here Are the Top Bingo Software Developers In the Online Bingo Industry
In 2010 a casino software company named Playtech bought Virtue Fusion developers specializing in bingo games for both the online and offline spaces. They have non-downloadable software and facilitate different bingo chat rooms at the same time. It’s also quite convenient to use with easy to deposit or withdraw money options.
It is one of the most recognized names in the online bingo industry that has adopted a mobile-first strategy to keep up with the fast-paced mobile generation. It’s home to the world’s leading bingo network and provides some of the top bingo games like Robin Hood Bingo, 888ladies, and Wink Bingo.
Founded way back in 2001, Gamesys is the software that powers some of the UK’s biggest bingo brands like Heart Bingo, Jackpotjoy, and Virgin Games. It has a world-class security system that protects and encrypts all your sensitive information like passwords or payment card details.
The Cozy Games
In 2019, the Cozy Games was taken over by GVC Holdings. Post takeover, the software has matured and developed a lot. Their products are widely popular and offer the biggest range of classic bingo variations, including 30, 75, 80, and 90 balls plus bingo.
Microgaming is potentially the largest software developer in the online gambling industry for the past 25 years. It has revolutionised online gaming and broke huge payout records. They offer some of the high-quality bingo games with huge progressive jackpots like Butlers Bingo. It also launched the first of its kind game, ‘Immortal Romance’ – a hybrid bingo game that offers standard bingo, with online slot style features and bonuses.
Jumpman gaming offers the largest network with bingo rooms powered by Pragmatic Play. It uses HTML5 led software that allows you to play bingo games on the mobile site without downloading additional software.
Infinileads SL Reveals SlotJava Awards
Lead generation firm Infinileads SL has announced a new award ceremony to distinguishing the most successful slot machines found on the SlotJava brands based on analyzing data sets of millions of use-generated transactions.
SlotJava Awards has nominated slot games and slot suppliers available on SlotJava.it and SlotJava.es websites and will now pick from the shortlisted entries competing across five key categories. The company will award those that have driven the strongest consumer product, experiences, and engagement based on careful study of verifiable data. Visit the award page for Italy here; the award page for Spain here.
While the awarding ceremony will be held behind closed doors, winners will be notified by the end of January, with over 100 suppliers standing to win across one of five available categories, including:
Most Popular Slot Machine 2020
Most Popular Game Provider 2020
Most Popular Slot Theme 2020
Most Popular Branded Slot 2020
To arrive at the worthwhile nominees, Infinileads SL has reviewed over 1,700 free to play slots by over a hundred providers. As a first of its kind event for the company, Infinileads has focused on a narrower segment, but the firm’s team hopes to expand the list of nominees a year from now as well as add more categories that are worthwhile exploring.
Infinileads SL product director Niklas Lundström has confirmed the company’s lofty ambitions for the coming year and evolution of the existing format, noting that “even though the five categories presented here are the most significant, there are still a lot of different prizes which all carry their own value.”
There have been many worthwhile entries, Lundström noted, but the company’s team “managed to narrow it down to some solid winners and are all looking forward in presenting them in our own unique way.”
Eric Stööp, co-founder of Infinileads SL, explained the criteria that the company relied on to arrive at fair and verifiable decisions through the use of datasets that cover millions of user generated transactions. He specifically added: “We are excited about our first SlotJava Awards and I think it will be a great way to end the year on a positive note with some fun and interesting slot data. The infographic we are creating gives an accurate view of the most popular slot machines in each specific market, as they are based on a dataset of millions of user generated transactions.”
About Infinileads SL
Infinileads SL is a lead generation company with over four years of experience. The main focus of the company is the legalized gambling industry in several markets, including Spain, Italy, Portugal and the quickly-expanding Latin American betting and iGaming verticals. The company operates out of Marbella, Spain, and employees five team members along with numerous external experts.
Another Year, Another Good Year for the Casino Business
The year 2020 has been challenging to virtually all business sectors because of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Europe’s gaming industry has not been spared, with many land-based casinos closing their doors to clients to control COVID-19’s spread. Technological advancements have led to introducing new gaming experiences as providers try to stay afloat in the highly competitive industry. Besides, no one would like to experience the same gaming experience over and over again.
A lot has changed in the online gaming sector since the introduction of 2D computer graphics. Today, new digital solutions have enabled developers to offer 3D graphics during game development to appeal to gamers. When it comes to trends in the gaming industry, 2021 seems to be promising, considering the recent technological changes and the impact of the COVID-19 on the gambling market.
Online [Mobile] Gambling
Players prefer playing different games to others. While some may consider video games fun, casino gamblers play for entertainment and win real money. Before the coming of the internet, people would play card and dice games then wager a specific amount. However, online gambling has provided a wide range of games to people worldwide, including the most popular European gambling destinations.
Because of the stay-at-home orders that most EU nations put in place, most gambling enthusiasts turned to online casinos and bookmakers to continue enjoying betting. Mobile gaming is expected to hit full throttle in 2021 because of its rise during the pandemic. And new mobile-first casino platforms are growing more popular than ever. Looking at 2020 we find several new European mobile casinos such as Winny.com and Race that opened up the gates. Looking forward in to 2021 estimates tells us this trend will continue.
Even as we experience the second wave of the health crisis, players across Europe have adjusted to the technological innovations taking place in the gaming world. Now seems the best time to invest in the EU gaming sector because it is expected to continue growing even in 2021. Therefore, gamers can expect exciting and features, trends, and other online gambling innovations next year.
Virtual Reality Casinos
Virtual reality is an innovative technology that the online gaming industry has utilized quite well. The technology uses a head-mounted display that gives gamers a chance to taste a more vivid and progressive gaming experience. This technology also offers game developers and online casinos unlimited options and tools to render the best VR games. Many bigwig companies in the sector are already on the verge of creating the best systems that will support the technology, and 2021 offers the best buffer time for the tech to reach the mainstream. Using VR, players will have to bet on the same level as other players and use the suitable headware. They’ll be able to see each other as in the real world. They’ll be able to hear each other’s response, which will require players to be more strategic in their gameplay.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence is one of the tech advancements that have drastically shaped the online gambling industry in 2020 and is expected to hit full throttle in the coming years. Online gaming providers can now leverage AI to deliver a personalized gaming experience. That said, players will only get game suggestions based on what they like. That saves players time because they need not waste time searching for what they’d like to play.
Furthermore, AI and machine learning also help online casinos to enhance their consumer support. For instance, most are now using chatbots to answer consumer queries.
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