Virtual sports becoming Asian reality

After a period of rapid growth in Europe, virtual sports are emerging as a viable product in Asia, with operators drawn to the regulatory flexibility, low-cost turnkey integration and high margins. Just a decade ago, it was not uncommon to hear virtual sports denigrated as “computer horse racing,” and the vertical was seen as little more than a novelty distraction to be placed in the corners of land-based estates. But today’s virtuals – which let players bet on the outcome of pre-determined, virtual visualizations of sporting encounters – are now graphically impressive adaptations of the real thing, created with advanced motion-capture technology which make the leading products tough to distinguish from reality. They also negate many of the downsides of traditional sports betting, including much of the risk, the high cost of dedicated trading teams and the slow turnaround of bets as punters wait two hours or more on a result. Its growth...

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