2 casinos begin to offer betting on virtual horse racing

Two Las Vegas casinos are now taking bets on horse races that never happen in real life.

William Hill, Nevada’s largest sports book operator, announced Friday it’s opening virtual racing at the Plaza and Silver Sevens casinos, a process over a year in the making after winning approval from the Gaming Commission in early 2015.

William Hill also hopes to open virtual racing at other books across Nevada, pending an approval from the Gaming Control Board after a field trial at the two casinos is completed, company spokesman Michael Grodsky said.

“We just want to see how it fits,” Grodsky said. “If and when we receive the approval after the field trial, we will begin expanding virtual racing to other locations across the state.”

The virtual races, which feature the commentary of popular race caller Tom Durkin, will start every five minutes, Grodsky said. Bettors can bet win, place, show, exactas and trifectas on races ranging from eight to 12 horses.

Grodsky said he doesn’t expect the virtual reality product to compete with real-life horse racing at the two casinos, calling it a “filler product” to pass time between “fewer and fewer” live horse races being run during the week. Virtual racing provides wagering content during those slow periods.

The company spokesman said it’s “too early to tell,” what percent of its revenue the new racing options will bring to William Hill’s Nevada books. It represents 18 percent of horse racing revenue in the London-based company’s United Kingdom betting shops.

Source:  Las Vegas Sun


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