No doubt you will have seen the bookmaker sign up offers that encourage bettors to partake in virtual horse racing. It is an area of the sport that is growing in popularity at the moment, and particularly in response to the sports stoppage during the COVID pandemic. However, it is also an area of the sport that many people are a little worried about as they are not sure how to approach it and whether it is fair. When you’re used to looking at form and the race cards in order to make a bet, it seems odd to think of betting on a virtual race. Likewise, some people are put off because they’re not sure how a virtual race can offer a legitimate betting experience. Here we explore the question: is virtual horse racing fixed? As we look at uncovering the truth behind this activity.
The first thing to understand about virtual horse racing is that it is essentially a lottery with weighted odds. Think of each horse as a number on a ball, with the likelihood of the ball being drawn being higher for some and lower for others based on the odds given for the ball. Once you have this idea in mind, virtual racing is really quite simple.
However, the bookmaker is out to make a profit, so they operate a bookmaker’s margin. This ensures that they are able to make a small profit on the odds for each event by offering odds that slightly differ from those placed against the likelihood of the horse winning. In this way, the bookie has the opportunity to make a profit, but does not know which horse will win any more than the person placing the bet. There is never a situation in which the bookmaker can select the winning horse for a race.
The winner of the race is selected by a computer using a specially written code that works with the odds for the race. This is designed and implemented by a company that is independent from the bookmaker and the company and its work is subject to the same betting and gambling protocols as all other markets and products in the UK.
Overall, although some may argue that virtual horse race betting is nowhere near as fun and exciting as the real thing, those who are interested in betting on a virtual event can do so safe in the knowledge that it is a fully verified and controlled form of betting that cannot be controlled or ‘rigged’ by bookmakers. The Gambling Commission works on behalf of bettors to ensure that the industry is fair and open, and virtual sports are well covered by their laws and systems in the same way that live sports betting is also covered.
So, next time you are itching to bet, but can’t wait for the next racing event to take place, have a go at virtual betting. It is pretty easy to access and the results are instant.