What Happens when Virtual Reality Meets the Casino Industry?

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First, there were personal computers. Then, there was the internet. Eventually, smartphones paved the way for a whole new virtual experience that can be taken with you wherever you go. The story of technology doesn’t stop there, however, as the next big advancement is already under development. Virtual reality is a type of immersive multimedia that replicates an environment that simulates a physical place in the real world or an imagined world. Users taking advantage of this technology will be treated to artificially-created sensory experiences, which can include sight, touch, hearing and smell. When wearing a VR headset, you can turn your head to look around and explore at will. The technology presents huge opportunities in a wide variety of fields.

To understand the possibilities presented by VR, one only needs to consider a few simple applications. For real world training purposes, VR headsets could, for example, simulate lifelike experiences for safely training pilots or soldiers on standard protocols. When it comes to entertainment, however, the possibilities of VR are effectively limitless. In the coming months, devices such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR appear primed to usher in a new era in VR capabilities, and this opens the door for brand new possibilities.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing applications for VR is for online casinos. To this point, physical casinos have held a distinct advantage over their online cousins in that play could be interactive and socially-engaging. Imagine, for a moment, a VR-based online casino in which players could actually step up to a craps table with other, real people and enjoy the ups and downs of a few rolls of the dice. By turning his or her head, the player would be able to make eye contact with other online players, giving the sensation of a social gaming experience without the need to leave your living room.

Obviously this type of experience is just an idea at this point, but with today’s convergence of devices, software development and bandwidth, what was once a distant fantasy is becoming more of a distinct possibility by the day. The two hurdles currently standing in the way of this advancement are technological inadequacies and regulatory issues, both of which will play a key role in the next generation of online gaming.

Rejuvenating Online Poker

innerreality202022016In an article by a contributor to Poker News, the popularity of online poker was put under the microscope. According to experts, the game, which once climbed to unparalleled heights, is now in danger of becoming the ‘has-been game of 2000s’ unless it’s able to innovate moving forward. A key area of interest for industry innovators is, of course, virtual reality. In fact, players will be able to get a glimpse of this possibility later this year with their VR headsets.

SlotsMillion has taken the idea of a VR casino to the next level by developing the first ever fully functional, real-money, virtual reality online casino. Players paying a visit to this innovative gambling destination will enjoy views from the 80th floor of a towering skyscraper in the middle of a futuristic city. While the casino floor will be open to navigation, the only games currently available to play are slots, because they’re easier to render. However, as the popularity of VR begins to skyrocket in the coming months (with predictions forecasting a $2.8 billion hardware market by 2020), VR has a chance to revolutionize online poker.

VR poker will target recreational players who were previously intimidated by the possibilities of bots, HUDs, scripting and pros playing multiple tables. Players in a VR game will be able to play against some of their favorite poker stars as avatars while their loved ones cheer them on from the virtual audience.

While this technology isn’t developed, it’s also not a utopian dream. According to estimates, early adopters could have access to primitive versions of VR casinos as early as next year. With a social element thrown into the mix, the benefits of gaming online just keep getting better.

Enhanced Marketing Efforts

innerreality302022016Virtual reality casinos would undoubtedly be great for the online casino industry, but they could have a similarly positive effect on the land-based casino industry. Consider putting on a VR headset and taking an instantaneous trip to the Las Vegas Strip. Enjoy a walk around the Mirage while playing a game or two. MGM Resorts has already taken the first step toward turning this marketing fantasy into a reality. The company has recreated its Las Vegas Strip properties in 3D, allowing gamblers from around the world to get a preview of Sin City before booking their flights.

The true limits of VR casinos are unknown, as virtual reality remains in its infancy. Without a doubt, however, there is a period of rapid advancement just around the corner, and the result could be a drastically different gaming experience for online players looking for a more engaging experience. For the time being, players will need to settle for beautiful graphics and exciting gameplay, but the online casino industry appears to be closing in on the possibility of reintroducing the social benefits to a gaming experience, pulling it ever closer to the hallowed experience on offer at the world’s best land-based casinos.

What are your thoughts about virtual reality? Some people remain concerned that a means to escape reality and see the world through the eyes of an avatar could have a negative effect on society. Other think that the possibility of looking your opponent in the eye at the casino poker table without leaving the house sounds pretty great. Ethical and regulatory concerns will continue to spark debate in the months to come, as the benefits of virtual reality become readily apparent.

For now, enjoy the best that the online casino industry has to offer by joining Slots of Vegas. Whether you want to spin the reels on the latest slots or raise the stakes at your favorite table game, Slots of Vegas offers everything you’ll need for a great time!

Colin Jones

Colin Jones is a born and raised Chicago writer specialized on topics related to the casino and gambling industry. Having years of experience on the field, Colin will keep you in touch with the latest news and advances on the casino industry.

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