Virtual Reality Racing coming to McMechen

WHEELING – Travis Braden is a rising star in the world of race cars. The Wheeling native is just 25-years-old and is already a two-time ARCA/CRA Super Series champion.

Braden is also a major player in a movement that would change the eSports landscape in West Virginia. Possible legislation is in the talking stages in the Mountain State on whether to adopt virtual reality betting in restaurants and bars.

Braden is championing the cause throughout the state. This coming weekend he will be in McMechen at Jerry’s Bar to promote virtual reality racing. Jerry’s Bar is owned by Jake Padlow, who is also the co-founder, along with Dave Ealy Jr., of PropMe LLC, an online gaming company.

Virtual reality gaming will allow for unique betting options via an on-line game app on your cell phone. It enables peer-to-peer betting by finding a prop and sending it directly to another user. It is also possible to have one-to-many betting by finding a prop then choosing the amount of the bet and the number of challengers, then place it in the marketplace.

PropMe has partnered with Saber VR out of New Jersey for eSports and virtual gaming. The two have joined forces to present the Virtual Reality SIM Racing Weekend running Friday through Sunday in McMechen.

Braden will be at Jerry’s Bar along with his actual race car at the event and will be on hand Friday from noon to 6 p.m. The event will also feature two race simulators. On Saturday, those simulators will be available for individuals to test their racing skills beginning at noon. On Sunday, action begins at noon with Braden taking on all challengers on the racing simulators.

Virtual reality betting would not be limited to race cars. Padlow said it offers many options such as boxing, hunting, fishing etc.

“We have the ability to install 35 simulators throughout the state. Different establishments would have different game options, so not to take away from each other,” Padlow said. “This has been in the works for a long time. It is a neat setup. People can bet one-on-one or enter tournaments statewide. Travis is a big supporter of this.”

PropMe and other establishments aim to offer new and easy accessible gambling experiences via virtual reality betting. It is a concept being broached with West Virginia officials.

“We have been talking to some lawmakers and lobbyists. They definitely like the idea,” Padlow said. “The tracks are attempting to get their satellite casino this year, so we think it is a perfect time for family owned and operated bars and restaurants to get a small sports book along with eSports and virtual reality. We hope anyone who is a fan of racing or eSports will come and check this out.”

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