[toc]Michigan is one of only four states with online lottery. Currently, the Michigan Lottery offers draw tickets, keno games, and instant win games online. It will soon be adding yet another product: virtual sports.
The addition of virtual sports to Michigan’s online lottery is possible because of an agreement between the Michigan Lottery, its online supplier Pollard Banknote Limited, and one of the leading virtual sports companies in the world, Inspired Gaming.
What are virtual sports?
Virtual sports are virtual representations of sporting events, with an integrated platform that allows viewers to place bets on the outcomes. The results of the matches and races are determined by a random number generator.
The simplest explanation of virtual sports is to envision yourself watching a high-quality video game demonstration played by a computer. Except you’re given the opportunity to bet on the outcome.
Introduced some 15 years ago, virtual sports are an extremely popular product in European sports betting markets. The game drives as much as 20 percent of all sports betting profits in some jurisdictions. Virtual sports is just beginning to show up in the United States.
It remains to be seen how these products will be received in jurisdictions where sports betting is illegal, but, we’re about to find out.
In addition to the Michigan Lottery, virtual sports are already available at select William Hill sports books in Nevada, and will soon be available for real money at several New Jersey online gaming sites.
What we know about the Michigan Lottery’s virtual sports offerings
The short answer is, not much.
It is not clear precisely what kind of virtual sports games and when they will make their first appearance on the Michigan Lottery’s website. It’s also unclear if the products will be more along the lines of instant win games, or if they will be the traditional virtual sports contests that play out over a predetermined period of time.
What we do know is Inspired’s Virtual Sports Lottery games will still use a random number generator to determine outcomes. Using that, the Michigan Lottery will be able to set a draw frequency and a prize percentage payout for games.
We also know, any Inspired game that makes it to the Michigan Lottery will likely be impressive. As seen in the video below, Inspired’s virtual sports games’ incredible graphics rival any video game on the market.
More reading on the virtual sports industry
For a deeper dive into the world of virtual sports, check out: