What We Know About VR22
On Sept. 22, SB22, an immersive betting and transactional platform, announced the launch of its newest creation: VR22. It’s a first-of-its-kind Virtual Reality Betting Platform that combines 360-degree live game streaming with betting technology.
It seeks to provide “next generation engagement” by giving fans front row seats at sporting events while also giving them the ability to interact via sports betting technology. Fans will be able to place live wagers, play in-game contests, and win team merchandise, which includes NFTs.
“There’s simply nothing like it. With this game changing experience, fans can interact in ways they never have been able to before. We are excited to help shape the future of the industry at SB22,” said Mark Savkovic, CTO of SB22.
The VR22 technology utilizes hand-tracking and system-generated personalized promotions and offers using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. SB22 would like to see the application of their technology reach sports betting operators, sports leagues, and professional sports teams, though they noted the potential that this product has to extend beyond that.
“We’ve put together an engineering and programming team that is without peer in the industry,” said Savkovic. “Our team brings years of experience in sports betting—with specific knowledge and understanding of the US market—along with a deep understanding of enterprise and consumer VR and fintech, to deliver this first of its kind and unique immersive platform.”
FanDuel’s VP of Sports Commercial Keith Wall called this application “truly immersive” and “highly innovative.”
A nod from FanDuel suggests that perhaps FanDuel is considering integrating its industry-leading platform with VR22, though nothing has been discussed in that regard. Nor has a launch date for this product been announced.
Virtual Reality Competition?
SB22 is entering a virtually untouched market here. The closest thing to competition that this type of technology has would be games that are live streamed via online sportsbooks or sports lounges at stadiums/casinos. Even then, you’re not in the “best seats at a game” like VR22 promises to provide.
It will be interesting to see how this competes with ticket sales to games. If the pandemic showed us anything, it was that remote technology can make life a lot easier. Given the trajectory of remote work following the pandemic (it has skyrocketed), it would not be entirely surprising if in-person viewership takes a small dip when/if VR22 gains traction.
SB22 is headquartered in Dallas, Texas though its technology hub is run from Belgrade, Serbia. It launched in 2021 and now has over 60 senior-level engineers helping to propel this vision of being the future of sports betting technology.
Their platform is built to evolve as the needs of operators also evolve. Per COO of SB22 Vladimir Jovanovic, “We invested in building a framework for our technology in-house rather than relying on a third-party framework. While this approach was more complicated, we wanted to build a platform that is extremely stable, scalable, and as future-proof as possible.”