These days, the internet is bursting at the seams with ways to entertain yourself online. You can stream episodes of the latest TV shows, listen to your favorite bands, partake of some classic slots at Casinowinner or place a wager on your preferred sports team. Indeed, this latter pastime is so popular that it’s grown into a trillion-dollar industry.

As the most popular sport on the planet, it’s little surprise that soccer is the most widely betted-on sport, too. However, fans of the sport (and of gambling in general) are seeking new forms of entertainment to keep things fresh and engaging. As a result, an innovative new pastime has sprung up to meet that demand: virtual football.

What is virtual football?

As the name suggests, virtual football is a simulated version of the sport which has been specifically created to allow fans to bet on the outcome. It should be noted that the terminology here refers to the sport of soccer (and not the NFL, or American football as it is known outside of the States!).

All players and teams participating in virtual football are fictional – they have been computer-generated and do not correspond with any actual persons or entities. Nonetheless, there is an entire virtual football league set up to cater to the sport, with punters able to bet on the outcome of matches, the scorer of goals and any number of other markets that are available in real football as well.

However, unlike real soccer, the matches in virtual football last a mere three minutes and involve a maximum of four goals. This time period is divided into the first 90 seconds, which is reserved for placing bets, and the second 90 seconds, which is devoted to delivering a highlights package and a match report.

Why is virtual football so popular?

Now that you understand what virtual football is, the next question to ask might be why is the pastime so popular? If regular soccer enjoys such a global following, what need is there for a simulated version of the sport? Well, virtual football carries a few advantages which set it aside from standard soccer, including the following:

·         Non-stop games. Whereas fans of real football have to wait until a scheduled game kicks off in order to bet upon, virtual football takes place on a continual basis. As soon as one game ends, another starts – 24 hours a day – so there’s always a market to bet on.

·         Immediacy. It’s human nature to crave instant gratification, which is another reason why virtual football is so popular. Standard soccer games take 90 minutes (and sometimes longer) to complete, whereas a virtual football match is over inside three minutes. Now that’s an immediacy worth writing home about.

·         Familiarity. In some ways, virtual football recalls the same simulated graphics as the hugely successful computer game, Football Manager. This familiarity among fans of the sport makes them instantly comfortable with the concept and enhances their enjoyment of the experience.

While virtual football is unlikely to impact upon the popularity of the real thing, it is a growing sector that earns more and more fans by the day. Why not see what all the fuss is about for yourself?