One of the greatest aspects about the online casino industry is that it’s always adapting and changing. New technologies can take an age to be introduced into other markets, but iGaming is usually quick to adopt any new methods or techniques that are likely to enhance player experience. First came mobile casino, more recently it was all about Bitcoin, but now attention has turned to virtual reality. Read on to find out more how virtual reality casino could become the next big thing.
Virtual reality has taken many forms and descriptions since the concept was first dreamt many years ago, but now that it’s readily available to consumers it’s slightly clearer. In its current form, it is a computer simulation (often requiring a headset) that allows you to enter a new world which you can interact with.
While the first virtual reality helmet was developed by SEGA around two decades ago, many companies such as Google, HTC, Sony and Oculus have brought it to life in the past few months – and it’s expected to make a big splash in many things we do. Watching videos and playing video games are just a couple of examples of virtual reality’s influence – with online casino play also beginning to join that list.
Alongside the no deposit free spins and other innovations that online casinos continue to offer, a few of them have already pressed ahead with this latest user experience. There were quite a few hurdles to overcome in doing this, with the Maltese gaming authorities being asked for their verdict on what was necessary due to casino virtual reality regulations being a step in the dark.
Interesting rules were made and adhered to, such as the requirement that multiple clocks needed to be visible on virtual reality casino walls so that players don’t lose track of time
As for the game providers themselves, Microgaming have already got the ball rolling with their Virtual Reality Roulette. They’re often considered pioneers of new technologies within casino game development, with smartwatch slots and Google Glass prototypes being a couple of examples. We’re expecting them to take this further in the coming months and years, with further research and development into virtual reality online gambling.
Rivals NetEnt are looking to take advantage of this rise too, only last week detailing how they were going to trial virtual reality slots using WebVR technology. Expected sometime either later this year or in 2018, NetEnt are going to use the classic hit Gonzo’s Quest as their first virtual reality slot – with a prototype recently displayed at the ICE Totally Gaming event in London last week.
The age-old criticism of online gaming is that it removes the social benefits of gambling. Long were the days that people would venture down to their local bingo halls or brick-and-mortar casinos and engage in chat with like-minded patrons, but online betting doesn’t quite have the same appeal.
Sure, progress has been made with Live Casino – a format which connects your device to a live stream of a dealer either distributing your cards or spinning the roulette wheels. However, the problem remains that certain players feel as though they’re missing out on social interaction by playing casino online.
Virtual reality could well be the cure to this problem, with the potential to communicate with other players in a similar way as you would in offline establishments. However, another regulation that the Maltese gaming regulators imposed was that player account balances, wins and losses, and other personal data should remain private. This has caused problems with virtual reality casino multiplayer tournaments.
Overall, though, there is genuine excitement that casino virtual reality could well be the game changer that everyone in the industry is looking for. With giant strides already being taken, we’re guessing that it’s simply a matter of time before many more adopt this new wave of iGaming technology.