Virtual gambling has a long history on the Internet, as it’s been around since the 1990s. Of course, with a heritage going back that far, it isn’t surprising that the industry is as large and popular as it is today. From poker to blackjack, craps to roulette, and sports betting to horse racing, virtual gambling outpaces brick-and-mortar gaming in the US 5-1. That’s right: Over 80 percent of American gamblers are virtual gamblers!
If you don’t have a casino in your neck of the woods or are simply looking for a convenient, safe, and fair way to legally gamble online, we’ve got you covered. The sites we recommend have been in the business for generations, and they’re all licensed, reputable, and legal to use. Consider us your virtual counselor when it comes to gambling on the Internet. So if you’re new to the game...well, Neo, enter the Matrix!
Due to the global outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus, more people than ever are turning to online socializing outside of traditional social networks. These include virtual gambling sites for both casino play and sports betting. However, since the virus has also caused a near-global shutdown in sports leagues in 2020, bettors are now discovering a whole new market: virtual sports.
With leagues worldwide being cancelled for most or all of 2020, sports bettors need something else to wager on. Virtual sports betting has rocketed up the boards as a result. And even once the COVID-19 scare subsides, many bettors are going to stick with the market thanks to the sheer fun and ingenuity of it.
To learn more about why virtual sports betting and online casinos are the waves of the future (and a heck of a lot of fun during quarantine), read on!
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What Are Virtual Casinos?
Virtual casinos are basically just legal online casinos. All the sites listed here offer electronic, simulated gambling software for every classic and modern table game going. Regardless of which online virtual gambling site you choose, if you go with one of the trusted offshore brands we’ve vetted, you will have access to all of the following:
- Virtual Slots
- Virtual Blackjack
- Virtual Roulette
- Virtual Baccarat
- Virtual Keno
- Virtual Bingo
- Virtual Lottery
- + More
As you can see, your simulated gambling options are virtually endless, and each of the best virtual casinos offer upwards of 200 or more RNG games to choose from. RNG stands for “Random Number Generator,” and the software developers these sites use are the best in the business, making the electronic table games you see at Las Vegas casinos and other major retail markets worldwide.
Brands like Realtime Gaming (RTG), Betsoft, Microgaming, and others are all audited for fair play compliance in multiple global gambling jurisdictions, meaning that even though the games may be simulated, your odds to win are exactly the same as they would be in any brick-and-mortar casino. These real money casinos might be virtual, but their fairness and integrity are as real as it gets!
What Are Virtual Sports?
Virtual sports are the newest hotness in the online gambling world despite being first envisioned in the early 1960s. While the concept has been kicking around for a few years now on the commercial level, sites like Bovada – America’s number-one online gambling destination – have been pushing virtual sports in lieu of traditional sports because of the effects of the 2020 coronavirus outbreak.
In a nutshell (or a kernel, as we’re sticking with the “computer” theme), virtual sports are simulated sporting events played between made-up teams loosely based on existing leagues and rosters. The games are animated with sophisticated graphics engines, and many contests even have full announcing!
While the outcomes are randomized by fair-play certified RNG software, you can still make informed bets because the events are based on real clubs and players, using their historical statistics to inform the parameters of the simulation.
Virtual Sports Types
- American Football
- Auto Racing
- Horse Racing
- Greyhound Racing
- Camel Racing
- + More!
And remember: The best virtual sports betting sites offer other betting options such as video game sport sims, esports, and are largely the same operators that run the top-rated online casinos. That’s perfect because it means you only need a single account to enjoy every kind of gambling there is.
- Note: Virtual sports is not the same thing as fantasy sports, which is an entirely different market. In fact, while virtual sports betting is possible even in the face of league suspensions worldwide (as happened with the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic), DFS requires live sports to function.
Online poker – also known as virtual poker – is what started it all. Back in the mid-1990s, all the top online casino brands cut their eyeteeth by embracing the Internet poker craze. Then, in the early 2000s, the popularity of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) put virtual poker on the map for good. In fact, Internet-based poker for real money is what prompted the federal UIGEA law to be passed in 2006, which is why all the best online gambling sites are now located offshore.
The electronic poker table software suites used by offshore betting sites are made by reputable, fair-play-certified RNG developers, often using in-house proprietary software. This means that the poker room experience will be different across each site we recommend, and you should take care to browse them all to see which platform you like best. Nevertheless, any poker room you choose will focus primarily on the three main game types: Texas Hold 'Em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo. There are three categories of virtual poker to consider:
- Cash Tables – Cash tables are online poker games where you play against others at a single table. Pot limits vary, as do buy-ins and antes, so players of all financial and skill levels can enjoy these contests. Additionally, the best sites all support multi-table gaming (aka "multitabling"), allowing you to play numerous hands at numerous tables, all at the same time. (Note: This is not recommended for beginners.)
- Sit 'N Go Poker - These are tournament-style events, but they allow you to play complete tournaments in just 20-60 minutes. That's because there are far fewer participants than in bigger tournaments, with far fewer tables to win. For tournament play when you don't have time for tournament play, Sit 'N Go poker is the perfect compromise.
- Tournament Poker – Tournament poker rooms at virtual gambling sites are the most popular, as there are events going on 24/7. Some jackpots can get into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but there are plenty of options for high rollers and casual players alike. Unlike Sit 'N Go contests, these are multi-round poker tournaments where you win a table to advance to the next round. Such tournaments can take up to several days to conclude and feature hundreds if not thousands of players, though new events are introduced daily.
Virtual Horse Racing
The best way to explain virtual sports is by comparing it to a phenomenon called the virtual horse racing simulator. These are extremely popular at both brick-and-mortar and online casino venues, and they are technically called Historical Horse Racing machines (HHR) and often referred to as “Instant Racing.”
However, simulated horse racing gambling actually has players betting on historical horse races. The identifying characteristics of these races – like dates, horse names, venues, jockeys, trainers, etc. – are all stripped away, but the results are not randomized in any way. These are “replays” of real horse races of record, using virtual skins. (Virtual sports may introduce a similar model in the future, but for now, they are strictly RNG-based.)
What Is eSports?
Just like fantasy sports, eSports is also a different betting market than virtual sports. Basically, eSports are live leagues where teams of players compete in the most popular multiplayer video games for real prizes. These are professional gamers, and you can bet on their tournament performances. This explains the main difference between virtual sports vs. eSports.
Also worth noting is the fact that eSports – with the exception of EA’s Madden and FIFA titles – are not really focused on sports-themed games. League of Legends, DOTA 2, Fortnite, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are examples of the most popular eSports games.
Naturally, all the best gambling sites offer robust eSports betting menus (which have largely been unaffected by the 2020 coronavirus), though there is nothing random about the performances you’re wagering on. Essentially, eSports is professional competition for gamers. And as such, it’s bringing a whole new generation of gamblers into the fold.
Online Casino Banking With Virtual Currency
In a bit of serendipity, the best way to fund virtual casino gaming and virtual sports betting is to – you guessed it! – use so-called virtual money! Bitcoin (BTC), the most popular and valuable cryptocurrency in the world, is the preferred option to fund any online gambling account.
BTC deposits come with the best bonuses, have the highest reliability rates, come with no added fees, have huge deposit limits, and allow you to claim same-day payouts when it’s time to collect your winnings. No other banking method comes close.
If you haven’t jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon yet, now’s the perfect time to do so. Outlets like Coinbase make it easy to buy BTC, but we prefer the much faster Zelle-to-Bitcoin option available at Localbitcoins.com. All you need is a free Bitcoin wallet, and you can join the revolution!
Looking To The Future: Virtual Reality Gambling
Virtual sports may have been first envisioned decades ago, but it’s a new dawn, and the market has really taken off lately. Incidentally, a major enhancement is on the horizon, too: virtual reality gambling.
With Oculus VR, Valve VR, and PS4 VR systems gaining more and more traction among consumers, it’s only a matter of time before virtual reality casinos start cropping up.
Indeed, the top sites we recommend all have plans to embrace VR options in the future, from virtual reality slots and table games to real VR poker tournaments. So, what kind of poker face will your avatar have?