Do virtual sports have a place in Nigeria’s gambling future?

The concept of virtual sports betting is fairly new and even some experienced online casino players may not be aware of exactly what it entails. So, before we get into the rise of virtual sports betting across Africa, let’s first answer the question – what is virtual sports?

Virtual sport is not to be confused with e-sports, where human players play video games against each other. Virtual sporting events are basically computer generated and computer simulated sporting events that are based upon real-life sporting events. Generally, a virtual sporting fixture is not as lengthy as its real – life counterpart.

That is to say –a virtual sports football game may only last around 90 seconds whereas a real-life football match will last approximately 90 minutes. It isn’t just football, virtual sports encompass a myriad of other sports such as horse racing, greyhound racing, cricket, etc. On the other hand, e-sports include PC/console games such as Counter Strike, League of Legends, FIFA, etc.

A key characteristic of virtual sports that facilitate betting on such sporting fixtures is the fact that they come with realistic odds, just like betting on a real-life sporting match or game. The results or outcomes of a virtual sporting event are determined by a RNG (Random Number Generator).

The RNG makes virtual sports similar to slot machines. However, instead of creating one outcome for every round or game, the RNG throws out a range of outcomes and based on these outcomes, players are offered realistic odds by the sportsbook. They are free to assess the odds and make wagers, just like they would in traditional sports betting.

Why Nigerian Sports Bettors Wager on Virtual Sports?

Now that we have a grasp of what virtual sports are about, the natural question is – why bet on virtual sports? Why not just bet on real sports that transpire in the tangible world like we have done for decades? There are a few reasons why people from all over the globe including Nigeria like betting on virtual sports.

Firstly, as we’ve already touched upon, a virtual sporting fixture generally only lasts a fraction of the time that a real fixture of the same sport would take. This means that you can place a bet and win in just 90 seconds instead of having to wait an hour and half. This allows for more betting opportunities in a day as well.

Secondly, unlike real sports, virtual sporting events kick off repeatedly in a loop that is never ending. So, instead of having to wait for a sporting match on the weekend and place a bet on it, you can login to an online sportsbook or casino offering virtual sports betting and bet on a virtual sporting event at any time of the day or night and get the results in just minutes. Also, you can bet on virtual sports from your smartphone which means you can bet while on the go as well.

There’s also the issue of legal standing to be factored in. In Nigeria, the law is very clear. Games of skill, for example, are permissible and considered lawful, but games of chance have been outlawed. Because evaluating the odds before placing a wager requires expertise, Nigerian bettors can legally bet on virtual sports at any time.

COVID-19’s Impact on Sports Betting

Given that the law in Nigeria allows for virtual sports betting is probably the biggest factor when it comes to assessing the future of virtual sports betting in the country, it is here to stay and young, tech savvy sports bettors are especially fond of it. The virtual sports betting market is increasing steadily as well and there’s no reason for the growth in market to cease. In fact, if anything, the on-going Covid-19 pandemic could boost the already growing popularity of virtual sports betting.

Almost throughout 2020, the pandemic single handedly disrupted sporting calendars all over the world. Be it the English Premier League, the NBA or any other sporting league/competition which is popular in Nigeria, they all came to a screeching halt. And with it the brakes were applied on sports betting opportunities as well.

Given that the pandemic is now raging with a renewed vigor, there is no certainty that sporting fixtures will not be called off in the near future. If and when this happens, players can always look to virtual sports to get their fix of sports betting.

The Future of Virtual Sports Betting

Any recipe for success will be contingent on recognizing each country as a separate entity. Providers can also adapt their virtual sports offerings to the market as they deem fit. Football is a no-brainer, but the mix of other virtual events, such as greyhound and horse racing, will be determined primarily by regional preferences.

Given that younger bettors with a fast-paced daily routine are the ones most enjoying virtual sports betting, it comes as no surprise that industry experts view Nigeria as thriving virtual sports market in the coming years. We can expect more online betting operators to onboard and offer virtual sports betting and we can also expect game development companies to start taking a crack at simulating other real-life sports and making virtual versions of them too. In a nutshell, the future of virtual sports betting looks bright, in Nigeria and across Africa in general.


About Post Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.