Golden Nugget to Offer First Virtual Online Sports Betting Games

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his administration have been fighting to bring sports betting to Atlantic City casinos for years in hopes of rescuing its flagging gambling industry. While that vision has yet to succeed, betting enthusiasts in the Garden State will have their first chance to wager on virtual sports via Golden Nugget‘s online casino.

Virtual sports betting is very similar to the real thing. Players are able to choose from a range of sports, such as cycling, greyhound racing and soccer. Like live events, they are provided a throng of data on the contestants, such as their strengths and weaknesses, as well as past performance records.

Unlike real sporting events, however, virtual sports are carried out electronically on a digital screen, with the outcome determined by a random number generator (RNG); the exact same technology used in today’s live and online slot machines. Thus the fate of a bettors money is left in the hands of a computer, rather than the athletic inclinations of each participant.

Virtual Sports BettingWith genuine sports betting off the legal menu in New Jersey, the online casino’s new range of gambling opportunities should draw a decent amount of interest. teamed up with UK-based Inspired Gaming Group, a global leader in the supply of server-based gaming (SBG) products with over 35,000 endpoints live in over 30 countries around the world. Inspired has a range of virtual sports betting products in its portfolio, including cricket, cycling, greyhound racing, horse racing, motor racing, soccer, speedway and tennis, each infused with cinematic graphic technology that mimics today’s most impressive console video games.

Thomas Winter, VP of Online Gaming for Golden Nugget, said all of the virtual sports conclude in a relatively short period of time. “For all of them, it’s between 30 seconds and two minutes,” said Winter. The soccer games, for instance, are expedited by displaying only the highlight reels from the game, followed by the end score.

What may turn some players off of virtual sports betting, however, is that they fail to provide a skill-based gaming experienced. Because the games are RNG-based, they carry the same predetermined payout ratios of Atlantic City’s live and online slot machines.

By state law, all games of this variety are required to maintain a payout ratio of no less than 83%. At that rate, for every $100 a virtual sports game takes in, it is only guaranteed to pay out $83, harvesting up to 17% profits for the online casino. The odds of winning at blackjack with only a basic strategy are much higher.

But for sporting fans, the opportunity to bet on sports – virtual or otherwise – is something countless New Jerseyans have long waited for. And according to Eamonn Toland, Paddy Power‘s head of North American operations, virtual racing is likely to attract a great deal of fanfare.

He said of the UK market, “what is extremely popular is virtual racing.” Sports betting is perfectly legal in the UK, yet Toland said that of the 600+ betting shops his company runs, “all of them have virtual horse racing.” He said virtual sports betting helps “fill in the gaps between actual races.”

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