The worldwide sports book recently announced it would begin offering Virtual Racing in Reno, Nevada and expanding the number of casinos in Las Vegas with the product as well.
The races have been popular at William Hill sports books in England for several years.
What is Virtual Racing?
The William Hill product is not simply betting on horses using the company’s popular mobile betting app. It is a round-the-clock offering of horse races generated by a computer.
Players can bet on the virtual horses in this generated races. Each horse is given odds of winning just like in a real race.
Here is an example of what one of the virtual races looks like:
Bettors can make win, place, show, trifecta and exacta bets on each of the racing. It is effectively a virtual version of Sigma Derby machines.
Once popular in Vegas, the Sigma Derby can only be found in a couple of casinos, including the MGM Grand. Many nostalgic casino patrons still “play the plastic ponies.”
There is no Daily Racing Form for these races, but it does feature the voice of noted race caller Tom Durkin. The sportscaster is best known for his work with NBC Sports and the Kentucky Derby.
The major difference between this offering and real horse racing is the amount of information to work with. In real races, factors like the track, the jockey, the trainer, the owner and the weather all influence betting decisions.
Virtual Racing is a little more random. Bettors simply pick a horse based on the posted odds and hope for the best.
Virtual Racing test driven successfully in Vegas
The state’s Gaming Control Board allowed William Hill to test its Virtual Racing offering in July of last year.
The company began offering it at the Plaza sports book and the Silver Sevens sports book. The product is the result of a partnership between William Hill and Inspired Gaming Group.
After the successful test run, William Hill said last month it was expanding to Reno and eventually adding Virtual Racing to all of its Vegas sports books as well as in Mesquite and Pahrump. The company has 108 race and sports book throughout Nevada.
Said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US:
“William Hill has worked diligently with regulators and Inspired over the past two years to bring Virtual Racing to Nevada.
Virtual Sports wagering is very popular with bettors across the globe and it fits with our commitment of bringing the most expansive and innovative wagering menu to our Nevada customers.”
Horse racing has suffered a decline in popularity with bettors over the years. Perhaps this new offering will increase the interest in the sport what with its round-the-clock availability and the fact that a knowledge of horses and the industry is not a prerequisite to participate.