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US – Chicago race course partners with Virtual Live Racing’s CGI experts

By - 12 October 2020

Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago has created a brand new revenue stream using a world first in regulated virtual racing wagering enabled technology solutions.

The track has partnered with pioneering software developers Virtual Software who used state of the art technology to create the first virtual version of the track ever produced. Marketed as Virtual Live Racing products, the software firm’s CGI experts have won BAFTA and Royal Television Society awards, and received Emmy nominations, for their work in the movie and TV industries before working with VLR. Using their world class special effects skills, and the latest CGI technology, they now create fully rendered replicas of leading US race tracks with stunning graphics, realistic race commentary, and virtual races based on results from race data at each track. While legacy virtual racing products are based on RNG (Random Number Generator), Virtual Live Racing’s products are a huge leap forward and a first in the USA and internationally because races are based on anonymised and encrypted data from real-life thoroughbred, harness and greyhound races.

John Walsh, Assistant General Manager at Hawthorne, said: “We are excited to offer our Hawthorne data and brand to be included with this innovative new pari-mutuel wagering product line. Racing fans across North America will be able to wager Hawthorne Virtual as it is available to all tote systems in the US via distribution through AmTote International’s Spectrum wagering system which enables us to create a brand new risk-free revenue stream.”

VLR’s Chairman is Vincent Caldwell, an online betting pioneer and former licensed ADW operator. He said: “Hawthorne is our fourth product to go live in the US. It follows Derby Lane, Tampa Bay Downs and Palm Beach Kennel Club in Florida, and we have two more tracks that are currently undergoing testing before being launched later this month. Our Virtual Live Racing product offers a no cost, risk free, revenue stream opportunity to racetracks all over the world. Racing is going through a tough time and tracks should embrace new products which can offer them income, and promote their tracks to a global audience.”

Joey D Michaels is VLR’s Business Development Consultant for the US and is responsible for building relationships with track owners and online Account Deposit Wagering (ADW) betting operators to drive expansion into tracks, casinos, and off-track betting outlet. Click here to watch a VLR demo which shows virtual thoroughbred racing at Hawthorne Race Course.

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