Olympic boss urges confederations to consider virtual sports
IOC Presdient Thomas Bach said that sports confederations should take an active role in the organisation and governing of virtual sports events.
The head of the Olympic movement said that sporting confederations should consider their relationship with virtual sports in light of social distancing.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says that confederations should take an active role in the organisation and governance of virtual or electronic versions of their sports.
“Whilst maintaining our principles by respecting the red line, with regard to the Olympic values, we encourage all our stakeholders even more urgently to ‘consider how to govern electronic and virtual forms of their sport and explore opportunities with game publishers’,” Bach wrote in a letter to members of his organisation.
The Olympic movement includes a wide variety of disciplines, with varying degrees of popularity but virtual sports are being considered a viable stop-gap for sports fans.
Several global sports already have lucrative relationships with their virtual sports counterparts with licensed Formula 1 games and the Fifa franchise being excellent examples. Top F1 drivers have even joined in on the virtual racing calendar and have excelled.
Sports betting industry looking to esports
The most intense of sports fans are those who have something riding on the outcome, and the sports betting industry is already looking to virtual events to keep them going.
CEO and founder of betting company Golden Race, Martin Wachter says his company would also be looking to increase its markets in the arena beyond the time of lockdowns and social distancing guidelines.
“I see virtual sports as a big opportunity,” he said in an interview with iGB. “You have to understand that what you push now in online it will be here, it will remain.
“And when you are back in retail, when you are back with your sports betting, you still will have the beauty of virtual sports in your traffic. People get used to it, so this is what I see in Golden Race. Even if we lose all the retail and we lose money, one day we will be back, and we have topped up our virtuals online, and we will be stronger than ever.”
Virtual sports a massive opportunity
The sports betting industry had taken note of the value of virtual sports long before the current global health crisis forced almost all on-field action to cease.
“You can play 24/7 virtual sports and what we see, for example, with our biggest operator in Italy [is that it tells us that] Golden Race’s virtual Serie A makes more tickets than the real Serie A. Why? Because people can pick their favourite team and they can play it all day long, not only once or twice a week.”
Golden Race runs the virtual side of their business in line with traditional sports betting conventions.
“The main idea is when someone off your betting platform is moving to your virtual platform, there is a zero learning curve; everything is the same.”