As the live sporting world continues to falter amidst the coronavirus lockdown, virtual gaming is going full steam ahead, making it one of the sports industry’s most key revenue generators at present. But, just where has this rise come from and where is it heading?

Why is the virtual sport key in this period of time?

As sports fans will know, taking away live sport is almost like cutting away a limb for some people. Horse racing and WWE – though the latter only sporadically – have been the two main constants throughout the lockdown. The former, in particular, has kept sporting and betting enthusiasts entertained with continuous race meets and online wagering a constant. In fact, those eager to take advantage of offers can check out today’s Tampa Bay Downs Picks and follow a proven track record of wins.

But, whilst live sporting events are at a premium, the same cannot be said for that of the virtual sporting world.

Origins of virtual sports

It may come as a surprise for some, but virtual sports is far from a modern concept. Indeed, it was 1961 when John Burgeson created a code on an IBM 1620 to support a 20kb fantasy baseball program. That led to the development of horse racing betting machines, brought in to gambling arcades and casinos in the 1970s. The progress didn’t stop there and the explosion of computer software in the 1980s saw the development of software and games that would become virtual sports titles.

Inevitably, sports simulation games came next as users could bet in a number of gambling establishments in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. Then came the internet and the platform to play them on and, boom, the virtual sports industry was born.

With almost a fifth of over-the-counter revenue coming from virtual sports, computerized sports betting is well and truly here to stay – remarkable considering that barely a decade ago, virtual sports was far from mainstream.

A gaming generation that has played its part

A “gaming generation” has taken on the rise in virtual sports and made it mainstream. It is this demographic that has been present as technology expands exponentially. From computers to consoles, from smartphones to tablets, technology dominates the way of life for this particular generation.

It is this generation that is impatient, rushed off their feet as they try and maintain their time commitments. Consuming entertainment and betting at their own pace and at the time they want is an example of the ‘instant win’ drive more normally associated with the roulette and slots that virtual sports offer on a constant basis.

As virtual games are shown live consistently throughout the day, every day of the week, betting markets offer huge potential for those that love to wager. A typical virtual sports event lasts barely minutes as opposed to the 90 minutes of a football game – which doesn’t include stoppages. For those that like placing bets on various sports, virtual gaming has both simplified and made quicker, that process.

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Why Africa could be where the future lies

Virtual sports is not just a concept booming in Europe or North America. In fact, Africa – a continent that isn’t exactly thought of as a live sporting hub – is one of the places where virtual sports is experiencing tremendous growth.

That is largely because of virtual sports’ ability to provide players with entertainment where live sports and broadcast options are unavailable for most of those living in the continent. But, virtuals are not exactly far from the real thing given the improvement in graphics and gameplay in recent years. And, with over 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, Africa boasts the youngest population in the world. This makes Africa perfect for exposure.

Where virtual sports is heading

The rate at which virtual sports is expanding suggests that its momentum cannot be stopped, particularly when the current lockdown has ensured more attention than ever. Given the vast improvements in computer memory and software in recent years, technology will continue to churn out new and exciting opportunities, and virtual sports can exploit that.

There is a huge audience for virtual sports with virtual sports gambling sites unlikely to sit at a stalemate and instead go forward with the advancements. As an increasing amount of money continues to be wagered on virtual sports, that industry will continue its growth – to where nobody can really predict.

And, as most virtual sports betting is done at home or on a mobile device, as internet speeds and capabilities of devices to process the software continue to improve too, virtual sports has an incredibly bright future ahead.