NBA and Sportradar join forces on virtual AI games for betting apps

  • Sportradar and the NBA have a $1 billion data deal
  • Virtual basketball offer combines intelligent algorithms and 3D visualizations

Sports betting data and services specialist, Sportradar, will offer its betting partners 3,000 virtual National Basketball Association (NBA) games daily, allowing them to offer markets at times when there are few or no live events.

Each virtual NBA game is based on real-world NBA data captured through sports radars, $1 billion in betting data and streaming deals with the league, with results generated through a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and machine learning (ML) can be simulated.

The game engine algorithms have been trained on millions of data points from 480,000 previous simulations to produce realistic results.

Games are visually simulated using motion capture technology, capturing player movements from half a million data points using cameras and sensors. These images are then coupled with the data-driven simulation to create the virtual game.

According to Sportradar, virtual NBA games will be available through its eWallet Remote Game Server or through the Betradar Unified Odds Feed, allowing for easy integration with existing client feeds. Bettors can view up to eight games simultaneously, each offering 12 betting markets.

“Virtual sports betting is growing in popularity, with more than 200 million accepted bet slips across Sportradar’s portfolio of virtual betting products this year,” said Frank Wenzig, Sportradar’s Managing Director of Gaming.

“By launching Virtual NBA, featuring NBA team names and logos, Sportradar offers operators dynamic new basketball content to drive engagement with the sport and give fans access to NBA betting markets, including off-season.”

SportsPro says…

The legalization of sports betting in some US states has sparked a flurry of activity among leagues, bookmakers and solution providers, all eager to capture this massive new revenue stream. However, sports betting is inherently limited by the frequency of actual sporting events.

While bookmakers in the UK and other markets are able to offer live casino games that can run 24/7, their US counterparts have to deal with hours of inactivity and off-season.

This constant need for live sports can explain many of the deals that betting service providers such as Sportradar and Genius Sports have closed with rights holders around the world. However, there is no limit to the number of virtual events that can be offered as long as they promise the same level of integrity as real competitions.

Virtual events also maximize the value of expensive data rights partnerships, which explains why Sportradar already offers virtual in-play betting for cricket, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the German Bundesliga.

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