Although Twitch has implemented some restrictions with regard to games of chance on their platform, this hasn’t stopped a few innovative individuals from creating ways to make it more fun for everybody involved.
In recent years, users have shifted from watching people place bets, to placing bets of their own in the chat, and the sim-racing genre’s premier title, iRacing, has become a popular Esport for this new activity.
But how do they do it without getting banned, how can you get a piece of the action, and what does this untapped opportunity mean for other betting operators?
iRacing – The Sim Racing Cradle
If you’re going to bet on something, for the sake of your better chances, you should probably understand how what you are betting on works and what it is. While iRacing has been around since 2008, its core features and game mechanics haven’t really changed all that much.
This enthusiast-level sim racing game puts you behind the wheel of officially licensed sports cars that mimic their real-world counterparts as closely as possible as you race around laser-scanned tracks worldwide. Things like tire wear, traction level, tarmac abrasion, and vehicle damage are accurately simulated as you push your way through for first place against other equally (if you’re lucky) skilled players.
Our team here at TekTick often participates in different racing events across their platform, being a part of roughly 200 to 300,000 race starts every week.
The high level of detail, competitive nature, and balanced mechanics that this sim racing title has made it a huge part of the Esports scene, with several annual tournaments boasting six-figure prize pools each. This is probably what also made it a popular choice for YouTubers and Twitch streamers who want to give their viewers a fair, but just a tad bit more of an exciting viewing experience.
How Does iRacing Betting Work in Twitch Chat?
Now that you understand why iRacing is such an important part of every proper sim racer, let’s move on to how betting on it works in Twitch chat.
At the start of each race, viewers are given the opportunity to bet a certain amount of made-up currency, or points, on a few possible outcomes of the race. For example, the audience can bet on whether the streamer finishes in the first place, finishes in the top 5, if they finish the race at all, or if they crash or are taken out of the race. The exact rules can change depending on who’s streaming, but they tend to follow these general guidelines with an added level of flexibility in terms of other types of bets, upping the ante.
Typing in chat commands like “!bet win 100” or “!bet type amount” in Twitch will allow you to place and lock in your bets. These unique commands for different streamers can usually be found on their About page, while the system lowers the barrier of entry and keeps people throughout the stream.
Streamers Leading This Pack
When it comes to the iRacing side of Twitch, there are a few major streams that offer this extra functionality in their chat, but the biggest and most notable is Matt Malone – a competitive player with multiple tournament wins under his belt. His spiel is that, during the streams, viewers can place a bet only, and if they win that bet, they stand a chance at receiving a $15 iRacing gift card.
Another honorable mentions in this field are Twitch streamers raceitlikekimi and Sampsoid.
Betting on More Prominent Sim Racing Events
The rules present in Twitch betting somewhat carry over to these betting sites, but obviously, extra terms and conditions may apply. Another factor to consider is the limited number of events that are held each year.
Should Betting Game Operators Jump Onboard?
It’s hard to ignore the opportunities this betting system brings to bookmakers and racing fans. The rush of being part of a heated race while also standing a chance at winning something that would allow you to visit that same event next time around is enough to make most people want to participate and incentivize streamers to make this feature available to their audience.
So, why hasn’t anyone capitalized on this rapidly growing market?
Well, it comes down to implementation and regulations, and attempts are being made. SpinFever announced betting possibilities with their streaming service (LiveSpins), but we’re still waiting for the official kick-off date.
The main issue here is Twitch’s new gambling rules, making it difficult for bookmarkers to tap into the larger live sim-racing ecosystem. Creating a similar feature to the one present in Twitch chats betting will be difficult but not impossible.
The only question now is when, not if, everyone will be able to bridge the gap and ripe the rewards of this emerging market as soon as the regulators drop the chequered flag.