The digital age has already completely transformed the gaming industry with the introduction of online casinos. But with the most recent technological advancements, it looks like casinos will be getting another makeover!
Both Virtual and Augmented Reality are exciting prospects in the gambling industry that have the power to completely change how we interact with casinos. Let’s find out exactly what these technologies are, how they benefit us, and the current challenges.
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What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual Reality (VR) is considered to be the next step in technological advancement by many. Essentially, this is a 3D environment created virtually. It lets users explore it and interact with things and people who are in the same reality.
Right now, VR can be accessed through special devices and with special goggles. It’s primarily used for video games and chat rooms but is expected to soon make its way to other aspects of our lives, including gambling.
What is Augmented Reality?
Though VR and AR are often used interchangeably, they’re not the same thing. Augmented Reality combines the real world with generated content. For example, Google Maps now has a new feature where you can point your camera at the street, and a virtual path will appear showing you where to go next.
AR can easily be accessed through your phone, but there are also special glasses that can be used. They allow for a more sensory experience and a broader range of features. If you’re travelling with them, they can scan the environment and pull up information about the monument you’re seeing right in front of your eyes, for instance.
Benefits of VR and AR for Casinos
Though this technology is still new, there are many benefits it can bring to both online casinos and users.
Creating a More Immersive Experience
VR can allow casinos to create a completely virtual environment that you can interact with. It will create the same feeling of gambling in a land-based casino, without the need to travel far or spend money on getting there.
This will revolutionise the casino space, as online operators have been looking for a way to recreate that authentic atmosphere for years!
It will also likely result in extremely creative designs. After all, it’s a whole new reality, so casinos can be as creative as they want to be to attract a wide variety of players.
Attracting Younger Generations
It’s been observed that younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z don’t respond to casinos the same way older generations do. For one, they rarely go to land-based casinos as it’s just not as convenient as online gambling. But because there are so many options online, it’s also very hard to attract these customers and keep them around.
One thing these generations have always been fascinated with is new technologies, though. So the addition of both AR and VR can be invaluable in reaching a wider crowd and giving people more convenience and freedom than ever before.
For example, AR could be a great asset when people are trying new games. Millennials and Gen Z are more careful with what they play and don’t want to use up their money right away. So, AR could pull up a casino game review of the title the player is looking at. They will instantly have all the info they need without having to do any of the research themselves. That helps them make better decisions and more likely to play new games.
Making Gambling More Accessible
Not everyone can travel to gamble, which made gambling much more accessible to a wider range of people. The next step in accessibility is definitely VR and AR, as not everyone can sit for long periods or use a computer or mouse, either.
With these technologies, it will be enough for people to make hand or head gestures to interact with their environment. This unlocks a whole new audience for the casino while promoting inclusivity. It’s a win-win!
Because of the previously mentioned appeal to the younger generation and wider accessibility, we can expect gambling and betting to become more popular than ever before. VR and AR will someday be as common and used as much as the internet today, meaning that almost everyone can enjoy their time at a casino.
This is likely to form big gaming communities, much like the active ones we see on Twitch and YouTube today. People will likely be talking about the release of the next VR casino game or casino on the same scale they’re talking about upcoming video games now.
One of the biggest drawbacks of online casinos today is that there is barely any interaction between players. Sure, some casinos include chats and try to keep an active community on their social media, but this often isn’t enough. Your voice can get lost in the stream of comments and chat messages, making you feel unseen and lonely. On top of that, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a timely response.
VR solves this problem completely by making it possible for people to interact with each other in real time. There are already virtual chatrooms where everyone has an avatar and can talk to others via voice chat. There’s no reason the same concept can’t be applied to casinos!
Since these technologies are still fairly new, the first casinos that manage to integrate them can gain a significant competitive edge by being the first to reap all of the benefits mentioned above. For players, this means that you no longer have to choose between the ambience of a land-based casino and the convivence of online gaming. You’ll finally have both.
Regular online casinos simply won’t be able to beat that. Now that’s what we call being one step ahead of the competition!
Though VR and AR bring a lot of benefits to the table, they do come with some significant challenges that need to be overcome.
- Cost: Since we’re entering uncharted territories with this type of technology, the cost of creating a VR casino or implementing AR is still pretty high. As things stand, a lot of casinos don’t consider it worth it right now. On the other side of the coin, this tech is also still pretty expensive to buy for a lot of people. This means that we’re a long way off from the accessibility we were talking about.
- Integration: It’s not only the creation of casinos that’s the problem, it’s also the integration and development of VR games and environments. It takes a lot of time and resources to create a game. And because these types of casinos aren’t standardised yet, it can also be quite complex to integrate new games into these systems.
- Motion Sickness: One real issue that VR and AR are fighting currently is that these immersive environments can make people feel motion sickness. It basically feels like you’re moving, but you’re not actually going anywhere. Until this problem is fixed or at least lessened, there won’t be a lot of progress in terms of popularising such technologies.
There is a lot of potential for both VR and AR in the future. They can give us the most immersive and exciting way to play since the birth of the gambling industry. It’s also undeniable that they have a lot of benefits that casinos and players alike will be happy to benefit from. All that’s left to do is see how the current challenges can be overcome and start playing games in a whole new space!