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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.

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.

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