Is Virtual Reality the future for Casinos?


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The changing face of gambling in the UK

The UK gambling industry is changing completely. Gone are the days of heading to the casino, bookmakers or bingo hall to have a flutter, with 24/7 online gambling seeming to slowly but surely take over the gambling world thanks to improved technology and a changed approach to the when and where we game online. Online gambling now makes up 33% of all UK gambling revenues, and the age and gender of the average player are changing dramatically as younger players take advantage of gambling sites that provide easy access.

There are a wide range of VR headsets with differing

There are a wide range of VR headsets with differing features Source:

Technology and its impact

These massive technological advances have allowed online gambling to evolve into something that is packaged as a ‘game.' Many games like virtual slots are even themed, making them appeal to the younger generation and instilling the idea that gambling is a ‘bit of fun.' This solid link with computer based gaming has opened up new possibilities for online casino providers as they try to capture the imaginations of the next generation of players.

The future

Although the rich 3D environments and live-streamed casino games straight from the casino are pretty cutting edge, online casino providers are already looking to the future of gaming to ensure their products are still relevant and exciting. Virtual reality, although not an entirely new technology, is slowly but surely becoming the next big opportunity to blow gamers’ minds with a full 3D and 360-degree experience that provides complete immersion. 888casino, the well-established online casino, has created a brilliant blog that provides plenty of insight into what we can expect from the future. Their blog is interesting due to the fact that they are among the most experienced in the online gaming industry, so look no further for expert insight into the potential of the Virtual Reality Casino.

The opportunity that VR could provide has many businesses excited, with online retailers, museums, travel companies and even musicians considering how they could soon be transporting users straight to their concert, store or exhibition to give them a taste of the action and secure a purchase. In fact, companies like Facebook are already snapping up VR companies, spending upwards of $2 billion, mostly through its Oculus brand. The stats certainly make for fascinating viewing.

VR Stats
Key information regarding virtual reality Source:

How to make the most of VR

The beauty of using a VR headset at the moment is that games work best with the player sitting in one place, with the 3D environment surrounding them. This works especially well for casino games for example, where players usually sit around a card table or roulette wheel. Online casino providers are well aware of this opportunity and games are already in development, possibly for use with established headsets like the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.

Although VR headsets are still relatively expensive (an Oculus Rift headset costs upwards of £300 and requires a high-end gaming PC) and the software technology is still fairly young, there is still a huge opportunity for VR to dominate gaming as improvements continue to happen with more customer interest. The type of 3D games and environments that were in the realms or science fiction barely 15 years ago are now a reality, with much more to come thanks to mainstream headsets like the PSVR.

Augmented and virtual reality device spectrum
Augmented and virtual reality device spectrum - Source:

Augmented Reality

There’s not just virtual reality to think about but also augmented reality. Unlike VR, it doesn’t thrust the user into an entirely virtual world. Instead it blends the real world and the virtual world together.

Although it sounds like something directly from Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, AR is really exciting. Its stand-out benefits are in the training of high-skilled professionals such as pilots and surgeons.

Mixed Reality

Mixed Reality is where things get a little bit more complicated. Mixed reality is similar to augmented reality and virtual reality, but very different at the same time. The user is still in a virtual world. However, they could also have several real items which could be used in the VR. For example, the user could have a toy gun, which is transferred to a realistic 9mm gun in the VR

The different between virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality
The different between virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality Source:

360° Games

360-degree games allow the user to interact with the gaming world around them entirely. When the user moves their head, the screen moves too, allowing them to see behind, to the side and the front seamlessly. This is the type of technology that would be required in VR casinos and VR shops.

360° 3D Games vs VR

Virtual reality is seen as a far more immersive experience, and virtual reality allows the user to walk anywhere and explore further into the game/experience. The user also has an extensive timeline when exploring the experience. There can be an unlimited amount of scenarios unfolding due to the actions of the user. 360° video only allows the user to have a certain amount of power, and the filmmaker has full control over the content that is offered due to them having filmed it previously. The content is captured from a real life landscape, and they are real videos in real places. This results in the movements of the filmmaker limiting the entire experience and the timeline progressing based on what they have filmed.

Comparing virtual reality and 360° video
Comparing virtual reality and 360° video Source:

In a nutshell

  • More people are gambling online than ever before.
  • There has been a shift in the average age and gender of gamblers.
  • Incredible technology is partly responsible for the shift.
  • Virtual reality could provide users with a full 3D, 360° experience that delivers complete immersion.
  • VR could be used by a wide-range of businesses including online retailers, museums, travel companies, online casinos, and musicians.
  • Just 4% of 14 to 19 year-olds have no interest in virtual reality.
  • Virtual reality is seen as superior to 360° Games, mixed reality and augmented reality due to the freedom that the user experiences.
  • An Oculus Rift headset could set you back a staggering £300.