Replacement for the real thing
Major sportsbooks across the UK are offering odds on the virtual version of the Aintree Grand National and committing all resulting profits to the NHS Charities Group. The decision came after the operators spoke with the Betting and Gaming Council and came to an agreement.
The Virtual Grand National will replace one of the most anticipated annual horse races after the coronavirus pandemic led to its cancellation. The event will take place on Saturday, with computer systems simulating the outcome of the race. It will be broadcast on ITV at 5:15pm.
Potential profit estimate
A spokesperson for leading sports betting brand William Hill said, “We like to think that the public will get right behind it and hope that the industry can raise a very substantial sum of money.”
expected to raise more than £1m for charity
The Virtual Grand National is expected to raise more than £1m ($1.25m) for charity. The odds for the different horses have been fixed, so they will not change at all in the lead-up to the race. A maximum bet of £10 ($12.45) per person is in place.
Race simulation and accuracy
Inspired Entertainment is in charge of operating the race simulation. The course will be exactly the same as the real deal, with 30 fences to be jumped.
course will be exactly the same as the real deal, with 30 fences
The company has recreated the action of many leading sporting events in recent years. The simulation uses CGI technology and various algorithms to harness data to produce a result. Some of the variables considered include the going and the current form of the runners.
Virtual races by Inspired Entertainment have been a good predictor of the real outcomes of the Aintree Grand National since they started being used in 2017.
Two events for racing fans
As well as the Virtual Grand National, racing fans will also be able to bet on a special ‘Race of Champions’. This will see past Grand National winners take part in a virtual race. The likes of Tiger Roll and Red Rum will be among the 40 runners in the competition.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, most racing events across the world have been either canceled or held behind closed doors. The situation has wreaked havoc with sports betting operators, who are now looking at other ways to generate revenue, including virtual sports.