Everyone should be well aware that technology has been revolutionizing the iGaming industry for a while now. Moreover, iGaming has blown up in popularity in this post-pandemic era and created a new fan base, specifically owing to the lockdowns. This heightened interest is also perpetuated by technological breakthroughs that create realistic and immersive experiences for those who enjoy them.
In this case, VR, or virtual reality, has also given a new meaning to an “immersive” gambling experience. VR in online gambling is a unique option that provides an enthralling communicative environment to the players. Therefore, the iGaming world as we know it would be incomplete without VR.
Regardless of how things go, it is clear that virtual reality has the potential to be the most significant change in the online gambling industry and many others.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality is a simulated experience that alludes to an artificial three-dimensional environment created using a computer. It makes interactions possible within this simulated environment via special electronic devices.
As stated, to see this type of environment, a VR headset, e.g., Meta Quest 2, Valve Index, or HTC Vive Pro 2, is required. This allows the user to feel and interact with objects and sights (often landscapes) in realistic surroundings. Such headsets are designed to make users “sink” into the simulated environment, making them feel as if they are inside the game they are playing.
Such devices make such realistic experiences possible through advancements in visual tracking and state-of-the-art graphics. It creates a three-dimensional picture and video with improved backgrounds.
Aside from that, virtual reality also rebuilds the dimensions and scales among the static two-dimensional images. Interactive hardware devices and firmware power VR gadgets. Although it is excellent for gambling, virtual reality in online gambling can also be used on desktops and a few mobile gadgets.
Do Virtual Reality Casino Games Exist?
RealCasinosCanada said in a report, that there are few virtual reality casinos available. Although a select number of VR casinos exist, chances are they may grow in number over the next years. It is worth noting that the current virtual reality casinos exceed pseudo-3D interfaces. They instead virtually transport players into the casino floor. Using a virtual reality headset with a supported VR iGambling platform, gamblers can enjoy a realistic casino gambling experience. This means, similar to how live casinos on gambling platforms work, gamblers can participate in games and interact with deals and other players in real-time.
How Will VR Impact the iGaming Industry?
Below are the ways VR is further expected to evolve the online gambling industry:
Better Player Immersion
Currently, there is no shortage of online gambling platforms. This saturation in the industry has led to a competitive market as websites strive to draw in new customers. Consequently, online slot games have been developed to become more immersive progressively. Such games often come with specific themes and recognizable branding.
For instance, casinos often feature movie tie-ins such as “Jurassic World”, using recognizable branding to attract players. In such a case, VR could be utilized to improve customer immersion in ways never explored before, such as including film footage or transporting players to a particular location in the film to make the VR experience more enjoyable. To capture potential users’ imagination, brands may use VR to create special experiences unique to their sites.
New Realistic Gambling Environments
VR’s unique technology can be utilized to “populate” game audiences, making them active participants. It could also let online casinos extend beyond their conventional portfolio of games by offering interactive story-driven games. For instance, while this has been explored in 2D form, developers can build an engaging narrative around games, e.g., locating a slot game in a Greek villa (if the theme calls for it).
For now, we can only guess how the technology will be used in the future, as any development will rely on customer demand and other factors, companies will have to consider.
A New Twist on the In-Person Gambling Experience
Perhaps the most exciting feature VR technology offers is its ability to imitate the experience of being present at an actual venue. The simulated environments could be programmed to make them more engaging to capture and retain players’ interest. It will not be long before hyper-realistic slot machines and poker halls exist in virtual reality, drawing in new players who are unwilling to leave home and yet still be able to “walk” the casino floors. With innovative features such as proximity chat, casino staff can welcome players, and casino establishments can thus reduce overhead costs.
Author – Nerijus Grenda