Virtual reality is a new approach to gambling and as such it is seen in controversial ways. While some people simply embrace the idea, others see it as a negative concept that will bring serious issues and consequences.
On one hand, this innovation might get completely restricted by some gambling jurisdictions, while others might forbid some specific aspects, which would result in limiting the development of the gambling industry in any case. However, Virtual Reality gambling is already a finished concept on its way to reach the dedicated market.
THE VIRTUAL REALITY CASINO
Although it is unlikely for the Virtual Reality concept to become available for the end users at least until the first quarter of 2016, some online gambling companies such as SlotsMillion have been exploring and developing this innovative technology in great details. Players can now visit the brand’s lobby and encounter the futuristic environment with numerous real 3D slots, interacting with one another and sharing this immersive experience.
This is the result of working hard and developing the concept in close collaboration with the legislation regulator of Malta, aiming to establish the new practice standards for a completely new playing environment. During that process the jurisdiction of Malta insisted that clocks should be well visible on the walls, so that the players have a sense of the real world and don’t get lost within the games. The regulator also restricted SlotsMillion’s idea for visible cash balance in multiplayer tournaments, ruling that balance of each player should be kept in privacy.
This leads to the most superior regulatory control so far, as the Virtual Reality idea is of interest for numerous casinos all around the world. And while licenses and jurisdictions have the word on the regulated market, the share of illegal service in the sector is also really high, setting a new prospective of the well-known discourse of licensed and offshore brands.
FUTURE SHAPING THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY
This Virtual Reality world by SlotsMillion is really impressive, but it still lacks market reach and customer- base. That raises the question if the whole industry will go in that direction in the future and how it will look like once developed.
In order to get in use, the special VR googles- Oculus Rift will require a purchase of at least $350, which is still affordable for most customers. But this product won’t get into practice without having a first quality gaming PC, which would push up at least $1500 cost in addition, making the service accessible mostly for dedicated gamers, but not for the traditional gambling lovers. Even SlotsMillion have predicted themselves that probably the majority of customers will put their hands on the service without the use of the Oculus Rift googles, but via the browser-based 3D version.
On the other hand the world capital of casino- Nevada has long ago realized the preferences and necessity of non- traditional casino titles. Developed in a console- gaming environment, the majority of players prefer games such as Halo 5 rather than typical reel spinning slots. At the same time the growth of esports puts another accent on casino industry, especially when it comes to the younger generations of gamblers. So Nevada and New Jersey, for example ended up changing their gaming rules and laws, permitting variable payouts in order to integrate a touch of video- skill gaming into casino machines. Thus experienced gamers can make use of better odds when they activate a skill- related bonus round, for instance.
The lines between video gaming, esports, and gambling are already hard to define. And the approach of virtual reality will set the requirement for a clear differentiation even further.
Social casinos have the potential to make it big in Virtual Reality. Eilers Research data shows the sector is presently worth $3.4 billion, with a tendency of reaching $4.4 billion by 2017, putting the focus on skill- based gaming elements for the future.
Social casinos can be used efficiently as a marketing tool by land-based playgrounds, and virtual reality representations of huge Vegas casinos are a possible future concept. MGM Resorts has already done this with MyVegas social casino, which allows players to explore MGM properties on the Las Vegas strip. In support to that idea, Adam Krejcik from Eilers Research predicted that probably social gaming will be the first genre to monetize the VR googles.
In these terms social casino players are much unlike traditional gamblers, aiming to beat the game on the first place, rather than searching for the excitement of risk- taking. That sets the requirement of integrating different elements of skill games, video gaming, social gaming and traditional casino games, in order to shape a hybrid virtual reality environment which would meet the specific needs of the market.