Virtual Reality and Online Gambling: Is There A Future in This Technological Pairing?

In futuristic movies like “Back to the Future” and “Star Trek,” we are often teased with what the future would look like. Whether it’s flying cars or hoverboards or teleportation devices, the movies have portrayed our supposed future to be this super advanced society that would have us all benefiting from high-tech devices. Sadly, that has not been the case.

We remain far away from the future that moviemakers have envisioned us having. Fortunately, one prediction has indeed come to fruition and that is virtual reality. Although it’s mainly been a fixture of the video game industry and it remains fresh to the commercial market, it is steadily making its mark in the gambling industry.

How Virtual Reality Will Impact Traditional Land-Based Casinos

When many people ponder on VR gambling, they instantly think of it as a substitute for ground-based and conventional brick-and-mortar casinos. However, if VR casinos will actually pose a threat to brick-and-mortar casinos, that day remains far away in the future.

As captivating as this innovation is, it still can’t take the place of high-end, night-on-the-town feel you get from dressing to the nines, hauling in your crew or even just a date, and heading out to a stylish and luxurious casino.

VR is really more of an extension of online gambling – yet another resource that makes gambling accessible to people who are nowhere near a casino and have no immediate means of doing so, as opposed to being a suitable and reliable alternative to in-person gaming.

Still, the lack of competition doesn’t mean VR won’t have a substantial impact on the landscape of land-based casinos. A potential thrilling step that casinos can make is to establish VR lounges – spaces where guests can put on VR headsets and experience various kinds of games the casino hasn’t been able to add to its physical floor. In this same space, VR can be utilized as a way for newcomers to familiarize themselves with the various games that are on hand before they head out to the real casino floor.

For example, a visitor can put on a VR headset to see a video about craps is played, and he or she can play a number of simulated casino games to get used to the game before trying an in-person craps table.

Finally, VR can be a really great way for casinos to entice new clients. From the comfort of their own living room or space, gamblers can take a virtual tour of the casino so they can get to know about the layout more, the games that are being offered, and the amenities before they actually make the physical trip.

How Virtual Reality Will Affect Online Casinos

While its effect on conventional brick-and-mortar casinos may be slightly limited, VR technology is set to make significant changes to the online gambling industry.

As a matter of fact, the revolution has already been underway since the very first VR casino was launched back in 2015. As VR becomes more accepted by gambling enthusiasts, more of these casinos are more likely going to pop up and existing ones are set to either make an upgrade or seriously get left behind in the dust. They have the obvious advantage of delivering a more realistic and immersive experience than common online casinos, in some cases even letting gamblers communicate in real time with live dealers and other players, thus bringing in the social element that online casinos often lack.

Gambling from the comfort of your own home has its fair share of perks, but human interaction is certainly not one of them. All you will be interacting with is your pet, maybe a family member or two and possibly the bottle of beer sitting next to you if push comes to shove.

There is one feature that delivers an exception to this rule and it is known as Live Dealer games. These games let you play casino games from your residence or mobile phone with the help of an actual human dealer done via webcam in another remote location. While these Live Dealer games do offer a little more human interaction, they don’t come close to what the virtual reality games could possibly accomplish.

Even though you are communicating with these dealers through a webcam, it feels more like a FaceTime video chat than an actual casino experience.

Virtual reality holds the potential to make you feel as if you are actually inside the casino. Not only that, a virtual casino gives you the possibility of meeting new players that you are sitting next to at a particular table. This is not a realistic expectation for an online casino in the state that it is in.

This difference alone could be responsible for gathering millions of people from all over the globe together, even if they don’t want to gamble.

It is fairly tough to meet people in real life as you age, and it is woefully tough to trust people on the Internet. However, virtual reality could possibly be the social medium that society needs to make it more convenient for people to socialize and interact in a healthy fashion.

VR casinos are really expected to become a pleasant cross between online gaming sites and brick-and-mortar casinos. Many people who enjoy online gambling are enticed by the sheer convenience of it. They may not have the time or resources to make a trip to a regular casino on a consistent basis, but they love the thrill as well as the relaxation of gaming.

With VR casinos, they will be able to keep the convenience they need but will have a better all-around experience. Imagine being able to bet on a horse race and then, have the ability to watch that race happen in front of your eyes as your horse takes the win. This is the kind of experience that could only be made possible with the advent of virtual reality.

Let’s say that you are an everyday casino enthusiast who just found out that there is a new innovation that will allow you to play inside of a virtual casino and walk around while also being in the comfort of your own home.

Do you foresee yourself going to the brick and mortar casino more, less or exactly the same as before?

The answer would most likely be that you are going to attend brick and mortar casinos less than you used to. This is basically because of the fact that the virtual casino is more convenient for a number of reasons.

First of all, there is no annoying cigarette smoke in a virtual casino. Even if there was, it would not impact your actual real-life human lungs in any way, shape or form and there would be no risk of getting cancer.

Secondly, you do not have to tip your dealer in a virtual casino because they are not actual humans. The only reason you tip people in a brick-and-mortar casino is to help them get by and make their life easier. There is absolutely no reason to do this for a mirage.

And lastly, a virtual casino will feature different music for each individual that comes in — sort of like Bill Gates’ house where the art on the wall appears different to each person that comes in to visit.

If this were a customizable feature, then this would give virtual casinos a huge advantage over land-based casinos and might entice even more players who are tired of hearing the same radio songs over and over again at their local joint.

VR is here to stay, and it has the potential to utterly take over a ton of various industries as the technology gets more advanced with each passing year.

Internet gambling websites are one of these industries, and virtual reality stands to make more of an effect in that space than any other. Two kinds of sites where the impact will be felt on a greater scale are the online poker rooms and the online casinos — neither of which currently have very good virtual reality capabilities.

However, that doesn’t mean that these capabilities will stay primitive for too long. Human beings are known for having technology that progresses at an exponential rate, and virtual reality is already on the cutting edge of the latest technology that is available.

As it’s used more and more in online gambling, VR won’t just give numerous benefits to the players, but it would also provide great advantages for the casinos as well.

When it’s combined with artificial intelligence and other advanced technological innovations, a VR casino can be tailor-made to each individual player. As it learns each player’s preferred games and behavioral patterns, that player’s version of the casino can be altered to pique his or her interest. Eventually, this will give casinos the power to keep their customers playing for longer periods of time, which most of the time, puts more money straight into the casino’s coffers.

On top of the benefits for individual online casinos, VR brings a wealth of good news for the online gambling industry. By delivering a better and more enticing experience for every customer, VR casinos can become appealing enough to pull in a much larger fan base than they’ve had in years past. When more people start getting into online gaming, it’s a win for the entire industry.

What are the Potential Hurdles for Virtual Reality in Gambling

Now that you are all excited about the huge potential that VR has in the gambling industry, it’s time to bring you back down to earth for a much-needed reality check. As great as VR is, there are some important elements that could hold it back from being as successful as it could possibly be.

The biggest issue for VR gaming is its lack of a customer base. Virtual reality is a nascent technology. While the very first systems were established in the 1990s, they’ve only been made available to the consumer market in the past few years. As is the case with any new innovation, VR comes with a very hefty price tag that is far beyond the reach of most consumers.

To use VR, a consumer must purchase a VR headset, and while there are a number of options that are available on the market, all of them are still pretty pricey. Other than headsets that just hold a phone at a particular distance to simulate VR, true VR headsets begin at around $400, and higher-end ones can go as high as $1,000. For consumers, buying a VR headset is like buying a brand new gaming console, which most people are only able to do every few years. Between the costly equipment and the fact that there aren’t many games available yet for VR, there isn’t a very large customer base for VR casinos to hone in on.

This is expected to get better as the technology becomes less expensive and as more and more gamers dip their hands into VR. But, for the time being, it severely restricts the market for VR gambling.

The other possible pothole for VR casinos is in the production costs for the casinos themselves. A reason there are so many online casinos to choose from is that it isn’t all too hard to get started.

Even with all the regulation in the gambling space, online casinos can be established for a price that is reasonable enough for a firm to get a return on its investment soon. VR, meanwhile, needs a much more complicated process on the development side.

A higher cost to penetrate the market of VR gambling means a smaller industry in all, which means having less ability to produce interest in the industry in general.

Conclusion

Technology has had a huge influence on the gambling world, from more advanced odds calculations and more innovative and creative slot machines to the advent of convenient online casinos. However, the changes are expected to keep on coming, and VR holds the latent possibility to really augment and perhaps even altogether change the face of convenient gambling.