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Market Size and Trends

The Virtual Sports Betting Market is estimated to be valued at USD 12.61 billion in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 39.78 billion by 2031, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.8% from 2024 to 2031.

Virtual Sports Betting Market Key Factors

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The rising cultural acceptance of betting and growing adoption of online betting platforms are propelling the market forward. High subscription and increasing reach of internet-based betting platforms are also fuelling the market growth. Moreover, the provision of a large variety of virtual sports events and the convenience of online betting provided by virtual sports betting websites and mobile applications are making them increasingly popular among bettors. However, stringent regulations related to online gambling in some regions may hamper the market expansion to some extent during the forecast period. Nevertheless, continued penetration of smartphones and high-speed internet connectivity are anticipated to present lucrative opportunities for players operating in this market.

Advancement of VR Technology

The rapid advancement of virtual reality (VR) technology has significantly benefitted the online sports betting industry in recent years. With improvements in consumer-grade VR headsets delivered by major tech players like Oculus, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR, the quality and affordability of VR experiences have vastly improved. This opens up new opportunities for sportsbook operators to offer VR-based services to their customers. Next-generation VR headsets are approaching photorealism and can deliver highly immersive experiences. Sports betting companies see potential to transport customers right into the stadium through VR and enhance their engagement with live and simulated sporting events. Early adaptations are already being tested like virtual attendance of games and 360-degree replays.

As VR matures further with 5G networking and continues enhancing presence, interactivity, and realism, the opportunity to disrupt conventional online sports betting becomes appealing. Full VR representation of sporting arenas, players, and real-time action can hook fans in new compelling ways beyond traditional online or TV viewing. Sportsbooks may provide exclusive, front-row seats to major matches and custom VR experiences catering different betting interests. Live in-play betting can also be more seamlessly integrated within immersive VR consumption of games. While technical challenges remain, advancements in VR technology are bringing to life visions that excite sportsbooks about novel ways of reaching and engaging younger, digitally native audiences that drive significant demand in the virtual sports betting markets.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Virtual Sports Betting Market Concentration By Players

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Rise of Esports and Simulated Sports

Emerging as a billion-dollar industry today, esports has grown massively in popularity among younger demographics globally. As traditional sporting events faced cancellations during the pandemic, esports successfully held numerous competitions online with huge viewership. Their virtual, digital-first nature made them well-suited to continue engaging fans in a socially distant environment. This boosted greater mainstream awareness and accelerated esports' rise. Meanwhile, advances in sports simulation technology have led to highly realistic simulations of different games being available. Together, the overlapping growth trajectories of esports and simulated sports present a major driver for the virtual sports betting space.

Sportsbooks have taken notice of large untapped fanbases for esports and simulated sports that may be easier to onboard as betting customers in virtual formats. Virtual iterations allow gambling on esports titles and simulated sport outcomes without many of the legal/regulatory hoops of real-world sports.

Key Takeaways from Analyst:

This segment allows betting on simulated sports games such as soccer, football, basketball, etc. Several factors such as high smartphone and internet penetration, increasing popularity of eSports and online casino games will drive more users towards virtual sports betting. The ability to bet on virtual games from anywhere and at any time makes it highly convenient for modern users.

However, legal restrictions in some regions still pose a challenge. Underage gambling and addiction are some socio-economic issues that need to be addressed. High dependency on technology also makes it vulnerable to technical glitches and outages. Offering localized content and payment options would help address different cultural preferences and payment habits across regions.

North America currently dominates virtual sports betting due to early adoption of new betting formats. However, Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth on the back of large young population and rising disposable income in countries like India and China. Virtual betting platforms need to strengthen security, work on responsible gaming, offer localized content and customize game types based on cultural sensibilities to cement their position in different regions. Partnerships with online casinos and game studios can help achieve higher user base.

In summary, virtual sports betting has tremendous potential but businesses must address various regulatory, technological and cultural challenges to sustain long term growth.

Market Challenge: Lack of Public Awareness and government regulations

One of the major challenges for the virtual sports betting market is lack of awareness about this concept among general public in many regions. Since virtual betting is relatively new, most people are still unfamiliar with the idea of betting on simulated or virtual sports games online. There is also the challenge of building trust as many thinks virtual betting lacks transparency. Maintaining a positive user experience remains crucial as high reliability and seamless functionality is expected by online bettors. Regulatory frameworks for virtual betting also vary widely by jurisdiction posing compliance challenges for operators in this space.

Market Opportunity: Expanding Access Through Increased Internet and Smartphone Penetration

The surge in internet and smartphone usage worldwide is fostering a fertile ground for growth and innovation within the virtual sports betting market. With greater global penetration of internet and smartphone access, a larger demographic now enjoys the convenience of placing virtual bets through online and mobile platforms. Moreover, virtual betting enables operators to introduce sports experiences that might otherwise lack real leagues or matches, broadening the scope of offerings and opportunities within the industry.

Virtual Sports Betting Market By Simulation Type

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By Simulation Type, RNG Based contributes the highest share of 77.1% in 2024, owing to its simplicity and wide appeal

The RNG based virtual sports betting segment holds the largest share of the overall market due to its straightforward gameplay model and broad appeal to casual and seasoned bettors alike. RNG, or random number generator, simulations employ algorithms to randomly generate outcomes in place of live sporting events, allowing for betting action around the clock. The randomness inherent in RNG games means no special gaming skills are required - anyone can participate on a level playing field just by choosing winners.

This simplicity has made RNG virtuals very popular as an alternative for when traditional live sports are not in season or available. Their accessibility means more betting opportunities for both operators and individual players. RNG games are also straightforward for betting companies to develop and manage compared to more specialized AI simulations. This ease of production has led to a wide variety of RNG-powered games covering all major betting sports being offered across many online and mobile betting platforms.

The randomness yet strategic betting aspects of RNG virtuals provide balanced excitement for casual fans pursuing entertainment just as avid sports bettors pursuing profit. Their constant availability addresses the demand for continuous betting engagement. As such, RNG simulations have attracted the broadest consumer base and emerged as the largest segment driven by both active betting volumes and total player reach.

In Terms of End Users - Individual Players contributes the highest share of 83.17% in 2024, due to growing participation and engagement in online betting

The individual players segment generates the greatest revenue in the virtual sports betting space owing to rising interest and involvement in digital wagering. Virtual betting appeals directly to recreational players who enjoy placing wagers for fun but do not rely on profits. This group values the convenience of accessing games through any internet-connected device at their leisure.

Online and mobile platforms have made virtual betting accessible wherever and whenever players desire. Their constant connectivity has supported an ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle and fueled always-on engagement with gaming apps. For recreational bettors without professional obligations, virtuals provide light entertainment that fits easily around work and personal responsibilities. Their low stakes also accommodate casual betting without large monetary risks.

Rising digital literacy among younger demographics combined with widespread device adoption has culturally normalized online betting participation. Virtual games cater to this digital-first attitude by fulfilling the mobile gaming and gambling demands of Gen Z and millennial audiences. As such, individual recreational players now make up the dominant force in virtual sports markets by driving higher frequencies and durations of virtual betting interaction on a personal level.

Regional Insights

Virtual Sports Betting Market Regional Insights

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North America is the dominant region in the virtual sports betting market and is estimated to account for 28.16% market share in 2024. The large size of the overall sports betting market in countries like the U.S. has provided a solid foundation for virtual betting to thrive. Many of the biggest betting operators have established their headquarters in the region which allows them to better understand customer preferences and tailor their virtual betting offerings accordingly. Furthermore, the industry presence is quite extensive with several software developers focused on creating realistic virtual betting environments. A wide variety of sports are offered on betting platforms that capture the interest of massive fan bases in North America.

Asia Pacific region has emerged as the fastest growing market for virtual sports betting with CAGR of 21.63% in 2024. Several factors have contributed to the exponential rise seen in the APAC region over the past few years. Countries like India, China and others have a very young demographic willing to adopt new forms of online entertainment. Virtual betting provides an interactive experience to these new users in a responsible manner. Unlike real life matches, virtual sports were not impacted due to COVID-19 restrictions which has helped the market gain momentum. Local operators are also partnering with global betting platforms to leverage their technological know-how and expand offerings. Rising internet penetration across Asia combined with growing expenditure power of new online users will likely ensure the momentum continues in the foreseeable future.

While North America established early dominance, Asia Pacific is making aggressive strides to become a top market very quickly. Both regions show the opportunities virtual betting presents when tailored to local market characteristics and trends. Understanding differences will be key for operators to target each region's unique growth drivers and expand their customer base internationally.

Market Report Scope

Virtual Sports Betting Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 12.61 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 17.8% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 39.78 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: South Africa, GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Simulation Type: RNG Based and AI Based
  • By End Users: Individual Players and Betting Companies 
Companies covered:

Betradar, BetConstruct, Inspired Entertainment, Inc., Kiron Interactive, Golden Race, NSoft Corporation, Betgenius, Vermantia, Global Bet Virtual, 1X2 Network, Playtech plc, BtoBet, Digitain, Sportradar AG, FSB Technology, Bragg Gaming Group, EveryMatrix Ltd., Metric Gaming LLC, Virtual Gaming Worlds, Microgame S.p.A., and Pari Match

Growth Drivers:
  • Advancement of VR Technology
  • Rise of Esports and Simulated Sports
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Lack of Public Awareness
  • Building Trust and Transparency

Key Developments

  • On May 29, 2024, InplayBet a sports betting app, unveiled the addition of virtual sports betting to its platform, underlining its commitment to expanding its offerings and enriching player engagement. The move signifies a stride forward in the evolution of online betting and is made possible through a collaboration with Kiron Interactive.
  • On May 10, 2024, Inspired Entertainment, Inc., a provider of gaming content and solutions, introduced its NBA Re-Play Virtual Sports product exclusively in Greece through a partnership with OPAP, a leading gaming company in Greece with global recognition for its diverse gaming portfolio.
  • In August 2023, Pascal Gaming launched Momentum, a state-of-the-art virtual sports solution aimed at revolutionizing the gaming experience. Featuring eight immersive games spanning various sports, including Football, Horse Racing, and Cycling, Momentum promises an authentic and lifelike gameplay experience.
  • In May 2022, Sportradar a sports betting app, rolled out its virtual cricket in-play solution, designed to offer users a genuine cricket experience through virtual betting, replicating the excitement of live cricket matches.

*Definition: Virtual Sports Betting Market involves betting on the outcomes of virtual or computer-simulated sporting events, without any actual games being played. Bettors can wager money on the results of simulated games of sports like football, soccer, horse racing, motor racing and others. Licensed operators use random number generators to determine things like scores, races and fights in virtual environments replicating real-world sporting conditions. This enables betting opportunities for players even when no live sports are playing due to circumstances like COVID-19 lockdown.

Market Segmentation

  • Simulation Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • RNG Based
    • AI Based
  •  End Users Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Individual Players
    • Betting Companies
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
      • Rest of Latin America
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • Spain
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      • South Africa
      • GCC Countries
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • Betradar
    • BetConstruct
    • Inspired Entertainment, Inc.
    • Kiron Interactive
    • Golden Race
    • NSoft Corporation
    • Betgenius
    • Vermantia
    • Global Bet Virtual
    • 1X2 Network
    • Playtech plc
    • BtoBet
    • Digitain
    • Sportradar AG
    • FSB Technology
    • Bragg Gaming Group
    • EveryMatrix Ltd.
    • Metric Gaming LLC
    • Virtual Gaming Worlds
    • Microgame S.p.A.
    • Pari Match

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of Virtual Sports Betting Market is projected to be 17.8% from 2024 to 2031.

Advancement of VR technology and rise of esports and simulated sports are the major factor driving the growth of virtual sports betting market.

Lack of public awareness and building trust and transparency are the major factors hampering the growth of virtual sports betting market.

In terms of Simulation Type, RNG Based is estimated to dominate the market revenue share 2024.

Betradar, BetConstruct, Inspired Entertainment, Inc., Kiron Interactive, Golden Race, NSoft Corporation, Betgenius, Vermantia, Global Bet Virtual, 1X2 Network, Playtech plc, BtoBet, Digitain, Sportradar AG, FSB Technology, Bragg Gaming Group, EveryMatrix Ltd., Metric Gaming LLC, Virtual Gaming Worlds, Microgame S.p.A., and Pari Match are the major players.

North America is expected to lead the Virtual Sports Betting Market.

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