- Will virtual reality transform online casinos?
- Are virtual casinos rigged?
- Is VR gaming losing popularity?
If you have interest in the gaming world, you’re more than aware of the onslaught of virtual reality games in recent years — but what about virtual reality casinos?
We take a look at how virtual reality could transform online casino gaming, and some concerns players might have about iGaming.
How will virtual reality transform online casinos?
Analysts report virtual reality gaming could see investments of over $520 billion via betting, with 800% growth coming from wagers on VR games. The casino industry could see transformations through actualized, 3D casino depictions for the player — particularly helpful if COVID-19 has prevented you from visiting your favorite spot.
Virtual reality immerses the user in a casino, melting away the physical world around them (with the use of a headset that encapsulates the users eyes/forehead). But what’s a VR casino experience like? Well, it’s come a long way from the likes of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy. Gemma Morris of SkyNews says, “Had a go on a horse, a pretend horse. I was in the race, a development from a bookmaker whereby you can actually place a bet on a horse, and you’ve got your headset on and you’re on the horse that you backed…This is actually linked up to real races.”
This is a prototype, but demonstrates the places that virtual reality could take the gambling industry. Other features of virtual reality casinos could include slot machines, 3D game tables & dealers, in-game chat features to connect with other players, and ‘real-life’ casino sounds like poker chips clinking, a slot lever being pulled, and even drinks being poured.
VR was already on the rise in 2020, and with COVID-19 stopping many from visiting their favorite brick-and-mortar casinos, it’ll be surprising if virtual reality casinos don’t grow in popularity, or availability.
Are virtual casinos rigged?
While we can’t speak for every single virtual reality casino in existence, there are a few ways to determine if any online casino is safe, or rigged.
Here are some key things to look for to determine if a casino site is safe to play at:
- Look for certification on the site’s footer from the Malta Gaming Authority, Microgaming, and/or eCogra (plus the use of RNG [random number generation] software);
- When it comes to a site that’s safe to enter your financial information, be sure to look for SSL-encryption — Branding from Visa or MasterCard can also be a good indication the site’s been vetted for safety;
- Trusted software developers: Developers are on the cutting edge of game developments, like Evolution Gaming who won an award for their Monopoly game, that used aspects of AR and VR;
- When it comes to VR casinos specifically, the site might have a seal of approval that they work in accordance with Occulus Rift, a popular form of VR software (or other headsets).
But wait, is VR gaming dead?
Opinions on whether VR is ‘dead’ or not differ — many people think that augmented reality will see equal popularity to virtual reality, although you might find these terms used interchangeably.
Augmented reality is when a 2D screen uses 3D elements in the game, often with a feature that allows the user to toggle and see ‘the entire picture’. It will also use live elements, like a dealer, or some of those familiar casino sounds we described earlier to create a ‘real-life’ casino experience. Virtual reality, on the other hand, immerses the user in the casino experience, blocking out their actual physical world.
Sales of VR equipment aren’t necessarily what industry insiders expected, with Steam reporting that 1 in 50 users connected a VR headset to their computer, accounting for only 1.5% of users on their platform. One caveat of many VR systems is the fact that they need to be hooked up to a PC, while devices like the Oculus Quest stand alone, and don’t require the back-up power of a PC.
However, according to a survey from the Games Developer Conference in 2020, 25% of participants think VR ill become more prevalent in five years, up 6% from 2019. Interestingly enough, 32% said they think augmented reality will be the more dominant format.
While you might be able to find an augmented reality casino experience a little sooner than a VR one, if you’re an iGaming enthusiast with access to VR equipment, a night in the casino could be a reality — even if casinos in your city are still closed.