What Exactly Are These PA Lottery Xpress Sports Games?

Martin Derbyshire September 6, 2018
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The Pennsylvania Lottery launched two Xpress Sports lottery games on Aug. 15, 2018.

Xpress Football and Xpress Car Racing are virtual sports monitor games now available at a variety of Pennsylvania Lottery retailers. This includes participating PA bars and restaurants where players can bet on the games and watch the outcome on monitors.

Virtual Sports combine elements of video games, sports betting, and slot machines. Basically, it’s betting on computer-simulated sporting events.

Wagers are placed on the outcome of simulated games. Then, a livestream of the games is available for viewing at various Pennsylvania Lottery retailers, bars and restaurants, offering monitor games.

Xpress Sports look real

Since the games feature the same computer graphics used in films and video games, they look relatively real. The major difference between Virtual Sports and real-world sporting events is that the outcome of the Virtual Sports games is determined by a computerized random number generator.

This is the same type of device that determines the outcomes of online casino games, online lottery games, and most modern slot machines.

Like the name implies, random number generators make the outcomes almost completely random. The non-random element is some historical data which affects the odds and the performance of each virtual participant.

The games do not use real-world athletes. All participant numbers and names are generic. However, some of the virtual participants are based on real-world athletes and teams.

That same historical data and past performance of the virtual participants is also used in calculating betting odds.

Virtual Sports not esports

Virtual Sports isn’t esports, which involves competitive video game play. In fact, the major difference between virtual sports and video games is that participants do not play. Players only bet on the outcome and watch the games, giving them no control over the outcome.

Similar games are currently available at a number of New Jersey online casino sites. In fact, a company called Inspired Entertainment supplies the Virtual Sports products to both the Pennsylvania Lottery and eight different online casinos in New Jersey.

While the Pennsylvania Lottery offers a version of Inspired Entertainment’s Stock Car Racing and 1st Down Virtual Football, New Jersey has soccer, horse, greyhound, car, and motorcycle racing. All eight New Jersey online casinos with virtual sports offer the same five Inspired Entertainment products.

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Xpress Football and Xpress Car Racing

In PA, the Xpress Football product features simulated football teams take on a red-zone drive challenge.

The drive results in either a touchdown run, touchdown pass, field goal, or turnover. Players win various prizes for correctly predicting which one of more of 16 possible outcomes will happen. Tickets start at $1 and the games run every five minutes.

With a $1 ticket, players can win up to $250.

The Xpress Car Racing product features 12 simulated race cars going at each other in a two-lap race on the Pennsylvania Lottery speedway. Players bet on who will win, place, and show.

Tickets start at $1. Games run every five minutes. Plus, players can win up to $250 on a $1 ticket.

At launch, the games were available at 1,500 locations. Pennsylvania Lottery officials claim the number of monitor game locations offering Virtual Sports and Keno games that launched in May 2018 is increasing every day.

Players that want to see the games at their favorite bars and restaurants are encouraged to ask the business owner to apply to become a PA Lottery retailer.

Players can check and redeem Xpress Sports tickets at any Pennsylvania Lottery retailer. However, they must be 18 or older to play.

A legal sports betting primer

With legal real-world sports betting soon becoming a reality in the Commonwealth, Xpress Sports will essentially become a sports betting segment of its own.

The computer-generated games do hold some advantages for gamblers in that they are on demand and fast. Virtual Sports can effectively fill time in between sporting events, or during times when there are no real-time sporting events scheduled.

Plus, Virtual Sports games can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In fact, they’ll run almost as often as a provider wants, making them even more accessible.

Additionally, the computerized nature of the games attracts a younger demographic. Thus, the games can act as an introduction to real-world sports betting.

Photo by B Brown / Shutterstock.com