Yesterday, new sports betting regulations made it clear Pennsylvania would not have sportsbooks by football season. However, a form of legal sports betting did kick off in Pennsylvania this week. Albeit, one without real sporting events.
The Pennsylvania Lottery launched its first two Virtual Sports monitor games on Aug. 15.
Two Xpress Sports lottery products, including Xpress Football and Xpress Car Racing, are now available at Pennsylvania Lottery retailers. Of course, this includes participating local bars and restaurants where players can wager on the games and watch the outcome on monitors.
Xpress Sports as big as Keno?
Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko expects Virtual Sports to be as big a hit as Keno, a lottery-style monitor game the Pennsylvania Lottery launched in May 2018:
“Following Keno’s very strong start, we expect that our Xpress Sports games will also be a big hit with our players. These games are part of our continuing mission to modernize our business and generate new funds to benefit older Pennsylvanians.”
Virtual Sports combine various elements of video games, sports betting, and slot machines. In its essence, Virtual Sports are basically betting on computer-simulated sporting events.
People bet on the outcome of the simulated games and then watch a livestream at Pennsylvania Lottery retailers and bars and restaurants offering monitor games.
The games look realistic, as they feature the same computer graphics used in films and video games.
The outcomes of the games are actually determined by a computerized random number generator, much like online casino games and slot machines. However, historical data and past performance of the virtual participants are used in calculating betting odds.
Similar games are currently available at a number of New Jersey online gambling sites.
Virtual football and stock car racing
The two Inspired Entertainment Virtual Sports products that launched this week are stock car racing and football.
Xpress Football involves simulated football teams on a red-zone drive. The drive will either result in a touchdown run, touchdown pass, field goal, or turnover. Players win prizes for correctly predicting which one or more of 16 possible outcomes will occur.
Xpress Car Racing involves 12 simulated race cars in a two-lap race on the Pennsylvania Lottery speedway. Like a horse race, players can bet on who will win, place, and show.
Tickets for both games start at $1 with prizes of up to $250 that grow exponentially from there. New games go off every five minutes.
At 1,500 PA Lottery locations and growing
The games are not currently available through the PA online lottery website. However, Svitko says there are now 1,500 monitor game locations offering Keno and Virtual Sports across the state. Plus, more are on the way:
“We’re continuing to add new monitors at stores, bars, clubs and restaurants. If you don’t see these games offered at your favorite stop or hang-out, encourage the business to apply to become a Lottery retailer.”
If players miss the simulcast or are unsure of the outcome, they can check tickets at any Pennsylvania Lottery retailer.
Players must be 18 or older to play Virtual Sports or any other Pennsylvania Lottery game.
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