Sportradar Calls on Artificial Intelligence to Launch New NBA Sports Betting Solution

The transformation of the sports betting experience continues, this time with the help of Sportradar. The sports data supplier is introducing a novel betting solution that will help operators increase their interaction with NBA fans.

Sportradar Virtual NBA
Sportradar Virtual NBA
LeBron James (center) of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors during the 2021 NBA Play-In Tournament in May 2021. The league is getting a virtual makeover as a new sports betting option with Sportradar. (Image: Getty Images)

Sportradar announced today the launch of Virtual NBA as part of its long-standing partnership with the pro basketball league. This computer-generated betting solution uses the most recent artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to allow gaming operators to increase their engagement with an estimated 2.22 billion basketball fans around the world.

Virtual NBA will provide access to around 3,000 games per day for virtual sports betting. Each contest features 12 betting markets and operators have eight games that can be broadcast at any given time. As a result, hoops fans and bettors can enjoy their sport throughout the year, even after the season ends. This year, the NBA regular season begins on October 18 and runs through April 9, 2023.

Expanding the Betting Experience

Operators anywhere who have a license to offer virtual sports betting can use Virtual NBA. The offering uses real data from years of NBA games to simulate new contests for increased fan engagement.

Virtual NBA enhances Sportradar’s historical database with an engineering team that has processed millions of NBA competition data points from previous games using AI. This allowed them to generate 480,000 unique basketball simulations of real games. It also creates realism that puts the fans in the middle of the virtual action.

Virtual sports betting is growing in popularity, with more than 200 million betting tickets accepted across Sportradar’s portfolio of virtual betting products so far this year,” said Frank Wenzig, Managing Director, Gaming at Sportradar.

Virtual NBA features the names and logos of NBA teams, increasing the realism of the experience. The company adds that the high-quality images are super realistic thanks to the use of hundreds of cameras and sensors.

Sportradar adds that Virtual NBA is now available to operators via its eWallet Remote Game Server or the Betradar Unified Odds Feed. Either option allows for straightforward integration into operators’ platforms for easy onboarding. Virtual NBA follows Virtual Baseball In-Play featuring MLB and Virtual Sports Bundesliga. It also comes after Sportradar introduced Virtual Cricket In-Play.

Virtual Sports Betting Not For Everyone

Virtual sports betting is still a niche market. Compared to betting on actual sports events, bettors are competing against the house and algorithms. This could potentially mean the house automatically has an edge.

Virtual sports betting isn’t an option likely to be found at most land-based sportsbooks anytime soon, although there are some possibilities. However, many online sportsbooks offer it. Bet365, William Hill, SkyBet and others have offered virtual sports betting options for over a decade.

In the US, several online operators have gotten into the game. Although online sports betting didn’t really get its start until 2018 with the death of PASPA, several sportsbooks were testing the virtual sports betting waters two to three years earlier.

Since then, more US-based online sportsbooks have included the option where legal. BetMGM, DraftKings and others offer virtual sports that include horse racing, basketball, soccer, motorsports and more.

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