Virtual Football Operator Cuts Real-money Betting

EA Arena communication suggests that competition and low player interest the reason

EA Arena, a real-money gambling hub for virtual football fans, discontinues the real money betting aspect of its offering this month and will in future focus on developing "…new, engaging services for our players."

The closure has been efficiently communicated to Arena and partner World Gaming (Virgin) players with notifications starting earlier this year, when the company advised that the virtual football sector has become increasingly competitive, and that less than 0.2 percent of Arena players were participating in Arena events on a regular basis.

"That told us that our fans weren't seeing value in the Arena service, and we decided to focus our efforts on developing new, engaging services for our players," the operator advised.

Advances in software and graphics technology have seen virtual football games improve in appearance, functionality and player appeal, with a wide range of stadium, team, strip and star choices.

Players compete against each other with real money bets on major EA game platforms like Madden, FIFA and NHL, and because the genre is essentially skill gaming there are few legal complications. See a typical example here:

However, from this month on players will find the real-money betting facility disabled, and in future EA titles it will not be offered.

Competitive skill gaming – particularly in sports modes like virtual football – reportedly enjoys massive international popularity, and the potential for this sector has attracted new operators, making for a more competitive business environment.

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