Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago has gone live with a new concept in pari-mutuel virtual racing products, partnering with software developer Virtual Software to create the first virtual version of the track ever produced.

Marketed as Virtual Live Racing products, Hawthorne Race Course has created a brand new revenue stream using a world first in regulated virtual racing wagering enabled technology solutions.

The Chicago based race course has partnered with BAFTA and Royal Television Society award-winning CGI experts from Virtual Software, who 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.

John Walsh, Assistant General Manager at Hawthorne, said on the new partnership: “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.”

While legacy virtual racing products are based on an RNG format (random number generator), Virtual Live Racing’s products are based on anonymized and encrypted data from real-life thoroughbred, harness and greyhound races. According to the firm the switch represents a huge leap forward and a first in the USA and internationally. 

Virtual Live Racing’s Chairman Vincent Caldwell added: “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.”

The Virtual Live Racing product is available to all tote systems in the US via distribution through AmTote International’s Spectrum wagering system, which enables tracks to accept wagers from players and create a brand new risk-free revenue stream.