Virtual reality is a fairly new phenomenon. That is why it causes so much distrust, as well as surprise. Some people perceive it as something out of science fiction, but some casino operators, such as IGT, actively implement this technology in the gambling zones of their objects.
There is no doubt that the industry of future virtual online casinos will face many regulatory problems. Some gambling jurisdictions are likely to completely ban it, while others will impose strict restrictions that will reduce the flow of customers to this market.
And yet, thanks to the almost limitless creative possibilities of virtual reality online gambling has finally resorted to it, having appreciated its merits.
Creating a casino in virtual reality
Oculus Rift virtual reality glasses appeared in wide access back in 2016. A little later, Alexander Tomich, co-founder of online gaming company SlotsMillion, which was at the helm of the integration of virtual reality in the gaming, said that his casino in virtual reality is not particularly successful. Without disclosing specific figures, he noted that “there is no business in virtual reality yet,” and acknowledged the use of this technology in his own business as “a curiosity.
During the creation of its casino SlotsMillion worked closely with the regulatory authorities of Malta, as the company planned to create a completely new experience and ways of obtaining it. Interestingly, the Maltese government insisted that, unlike most land-based casinos around the world, this establishment had watches on its walls so that players would not be “lost” in the game. Restrictions were also imposed on game tournaments between players. SlotsMillion wanted to make the player’s balance visible to others, and the government stated that this factor should remain strictly private and therefore hidden, as well as the sums of winnings and losses of players.
The online casino industry is facing stricter controls than ever before as more and more operators in all countries are applying for a license to run such a business. However, there are still many unlicensed markets that are not bound by any laws. As a result – we may face an interesting situation, the same as in reality: there will be legal casinos in virtual reality, regulated and following certain rules, and vice versa – illegal, where anything can happen.
How does the gambling industry today look virtual reality
With the introduction of VR technology, the gambling industry has become even more interesting for users. It is all the same as in a real casino – croupier, tables, cards, slot machines. And every year the image quality becomes clearer and more realistic.
At the same time, online games in virtual reality today have moved a little forward. If the first pairs of development of the casino staff was computer, in today’s world it is already live dealers. In addition, there may be living colleagues in the game, which for some games, especially for card games, it is much more interesting than if the opponent was just a computer.
Today, among other things, virtual reality is integrated into the bookmaker business. We’re talking about betting on virtual sports. Thanks to points, players can bet on a sporting event in real time, the result of which is determined by a random number generator.
Changing the gambling industry
The augmented reality shown by SlotsMillion is undoubtedly impressive. Today it is already a product with its own market and client base. And this base appeared with the release of one of the first Oculus Rift virtual reality points.
The first developer’s set was released in 2013 and cost about $350. It was quite an affordable price. As stated by SlotsMillion, together with this, most customers got a new gaming experience, which was one of the first to offer their project through a 3D browser version, for which they didn’t need glasses. And only a few years later – in 2016 – the manufacturing company finally released custom glasses ($400).
The giants of Nevada’s casino industry have long complained about the unwillingness of Generation Y to join the traditional casino games. They are mostly console players and naturally enjoy shooters like “Halo 5” more than hypnotizing slots and spins. Accordingly, from virtual online casinos.
Meanwhile, the steady growth in the popularity of cybersports could not go unnoticed by the casino industry, which is gradually falling into despair in an effort to attract the attention of the younger generation. Nevada and New Jersey had already adopted amendments to their gaming laws, which allow “various payments” winning slot machines. This was done in order to pave the way for existing slots that carry the features of video game skills. For example, gaming laws usually state that the payout ratio of winnings should be equal for all players, but different payouts will provide the best ratio for players who have achieved a certain skill in the skill games.
The boundaries between video games, eSports and gambling are now quite blurred. And the emergence of virtual reality in this arena has further increased the need to intersect these areas.
Social casinos were expected to become a virtual reality hit. In 2016, this industry was about $3.4 billion, according to a study by Eilers. In 2017, it reached about $4 billion, as the industry has also expanded the demographics of its players, introducing more elements of skill games.
Social casinos can be successfully used by physical gaming institutions as a marketing tool, while the reconstruction of large Vegas casino complexes in virtual reality can be another winning project. MGM Resorts has already created MyVegas social 3D casinos.
However, despite the intersection of different gambling spheres, the visitors of social casinos differ from the clients of traditional online casinos. They think like gamers, not gamblers, and their actions are aimed at how to win, not just to feel the shiver of excitement from possible risks. Thus, virtual online casinos today are a hybrid mix of skill, social and video games, as well as traditional casino games aimed at attracting a generation of 2,000 people. And today, gaming companies and operators are actively fighting for this CA.