Gambling TechZone

GamblingTechZone News

GamblingTechZone Home

Is virtual reality the next step in the evolution of online casinos?

By Special Guest
Macram Telhami
August 05, 2019

With the widespread introduction of live casino games, the online casino industry has been able to provide a gaming experience more immersive than previously possible. Tech developments have also allowed the production of slots that have escapist qualities akin to a movie, with elaborate video introductions and narratives taking place in fully realized worlds. However, it is difficult to imagine how online casinos can take this immersion to the next level without exploring the potential for virtual reality gaming.

Thus far, the sustained rise of online casinos has largely been driven by the idea that they are very different from their physical counterparts, in terms of choice and convenience. The focus has shifted in recent years, with many online casinos now making a concerted effort to adopt the strengths of their land-based contemporaries. Physical casinos inevitably provide a greater sense of community, with players able to see and engage with fellow gamers. Some casinos have sought to emulate this camaraderie by introducing chatroom functions. While a welcome feature, there is no real substitute for face-to-face communication.

The development of live casino games has resolved this issue in some ways. Evolution Gaming has been the pioneering developer in this field, with a significant proportion of online casinos providing, among others, Evolution's live blackjack and roulette games. Many casinos only offer live titles produced by Evolution, although certain sites do host live games developed by Playtech. While Evolution's name is synonymous with live casino games, it is noteworthy that Playtech, a heavyweight company renowned for its slots, has deemed it worthwhile to move into the live gaming market.

If VR casino gaming is to achieve similar popularity and prevalence, it will need the biggest game developers to become key players. Two of the most popular slot developers, Microgaming and NetEnt, have both tested the waters of VR casino gaming already. Microgaming produced Virtual Reality Roulette, a version of the wheel-based game that is standard in every regard other than the robot dealer. NetEnt launched a prototype VR slot in 2017, but VR games with real-money stakes have not yet become widely available at online casino providers.

If VR casino gaming is to take off, they will need to be seamlessly integrated on existing platforms in the same manner as live casino games. Rather than standalone games, it could be that VR opens up the possibility to enter an entire virtual casino. Many online casinos seek to recreate the environments of Las Vegas and Monte Carlo in their design and gameplay, but a VR casino could allow players to step into these worlds without actually having to travel.

Casino gameplay is a natural fit for VR. While the complexity of console games may struggle to translate to VR, the simple mechanics of card games, roulette and slots can ensure that gameplay doesn't feel clunky. Hypothetically, players would be able to navigate the VR casino as they would in a physical venue. Players could sit down at their desired tables and, most crucially, interact spontaneously with the avatars of fellow players.

In the wider gaming industry, virtual reality has failed to grow as many people may have anticipated. Classic consoles still take clear precedence over VR headsets, with headsets more of a luxury rather than an essential piece of equipment for keen gamers. With simplistic gameplay and a keen desire to develop its social side, the online casino industry could provide the ideal platform to popularize VR tech.

Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. [Free eNews Subscription]
Related Articles

The Evolution of Online Slot Technology: From Mechanical Reels to Virtual Reality

By: Contributing Writer    6/20/2023

The gaming industry has changed dramatically throughout the years, particularly in the field of slot machines. The advancement of online slot technolo…

Read More

The Technology Behind An Online Roulette Game

By: Contributing Writer    12/7/2021

The online casino concept has been popular for quite some time now. However, it would seem that most people discovered it during the last 2 years, whi…

Read More

Time Tested Sports Betting Strategies to Upgrade Your Game

By: Special Guest    5/5/2021

Sports betting strategies that maximize your wins are just game-changers. You can continuously hone your strategy and take your sports betting practic…

Read More

Beware Betting Bonus Bandits

By: Special Guest    4/20/2021

Although online gambling and sports betting was already a popular pastime, with the advent of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic it took on a life of its own …

Read More

How to Get an Online Casino License in 2021

By: Special Guest    3/18/2021

One of the side-effects of the ongoing pandemic is a surge in demand for online gambling. Travel restrictions, occupancy limits, and health concerns h…

Read More