he market for the latest virtual racing products is booming as horse, greyhound racetracks and racinos look to extend their digital brand to reach new audiences and develop new revenue streams, according to Virtual Software, the parent company of Virtual Live Racing (VLR) brand.
The firm has pioneered tote-betting enabled, ultra-realistic products based on real-life race data and is now a major player driving this trend. Until VLR’s products were launched in May 2020, no tote platform had a virtual live racing product on which to accept wagers in a market worth $100 billion per year.
They already have five major US tracks using their products, the latest being Parx, which is Pennsylvania’s number 1 casino and racetrack and the biggest so far to go live with VLR. The 260,000 square foot Parx Casino offers state of the art gaming, thoroughbred racing, and entertainment events. The 280,000 square foot Parx East is home to Parx Racing. Since Pennsylvania launched sports betting in November 2018, Parx has grown rapidly and now handles nearly $30 million per month with around 67% of that total being online. For instance, the November 2020 total handle was $28.59 million, with $19.3 million online.
In addition to Parx, VLR products are also live at Hawthorne in Chicago, plus Florida tracks Derby Lane, Tampa Bay Downs and Palm Beach Kennel Club. VLR has also partnered with the world-famous Ascot Racecourse in England – when that product is launched it will signal the company’s entry into the UK market.
Joe Wilson, COO, Parx Racing, commented: “Parx Racing is happy to be participating with Virtual Software Limited [the business behind the Virtual Live Racing brand] in this new and groundbreaking wagering product. VSL’s impeccable attention to detail in creating Parx Virtual, coupled with our race data, guarantee the customer a truly unique and exciting entertainment experience.”
VLR Chairman Vincent Caldwell said: “Partnering with Parx is a major milestone for us, and the iGaming and racing industries. We’re offering tracks all over the world a no cost, risk free, revenue stream which would be a fantastic opportunity at any time, but especially right now when there is so much disruption to real racing.”
Caldwell said VLR has bigger ambitions for 2021: “Our next goal is to put 12 products up which would enable us to run 87,600 races a year. The goal after that is to get the wagering on each race to $3,500 per race. If we succeed in that, over $306 million will be handled in wagers on our products in a full year.”