VR technology for the Gambling Field – Peculiarities of Use and Advantages
Virtual reality technologies are growing in popularity in the gambling field: analytics of Juniper Research shows that bets placed in VR games will reach $520 million by 2021 showing the 800% growth. So why is this type of entertainment attractive for players? What opportunities does it open for the gambling field?
What is virtual reality?
Virtual reality (VR) is a kind of content displayed using special 3D glasses and controllers that immerse the user into the digital world. It can include interactive 3D simulations in games, special panoramic videos. The use of VR content is efficient in advertising, as it provokes strong emotions and allows companies to attract the attention of customers, boosts brand awareness.
Technologies of virtual and augmented reality are often used by video game developers, and often find use in the gambling industry. For example, VR glasses can be used to play at online casinos in order to experience the same feelings as when attending the land-based facility. Virtual reality fully immerses the person into the digital world – by putting on glasses the player can find himself in a poker room when sitting at home.
VR technologies in gambling
Currently, technologies of virtual and augmented reality allow users to “visit” a virtual gambling house by simply putting on goggles, using a controller, and entering the online platform. A trendy direction in the gambling industry is a VR casino, where virtual customers can sit around gaming tables and interact with other visitors.
Why VR casinos are attractive for the player:
full immersion in the game reality;
direct communication with other people;
interaction with objects, tactual sensation;
high quality of games that highly resemble real-life games.
In such a way, owners of VR casinos receive a highly engaged customer that keeps coming back to the website to experience positive emotions and enjoy slot machines with the highest quality of graphics.
Examples of VR use
The world’s first VR casino was the Spanish SlotsMillion, opened back in 2015. The customer can virtually visit the gambling house, have a look at the interior, furniture, slot machines, and even enjoy the view that opens from the window (the technology offers 360-degree visibility). Users can join the virtual casino using a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone, or a personal computer.
Of course, users can play inside being offered 40 different 3D slot machines; every game boasts highly realistic graphics. Besides, the Spanish SlotsMillion allows playing with friends: up to 20 people can join the user thanks to modern technologies.
Moreover, there are standalone products in the gambling niche realized using virtual reality. For example, the developer of the world’s first mobile casino Microgaming focused on projects for Google Glass and created VR roulette game in 2016. Lucky VR, NetEnt, and VR Poker are also involved in the development of virtual reality content.
Using special accessories, lovers of card games can assess the feasibility of VR poker game. For this purpose, users need Oculus Rift VR glasses with the biggest field of view possible and Oculus Touch controller that allows seeing your hands in the virtual space and making manipulations with objects.
How does VR work in poker?
Famous streamer Tonkaaaap presented a video of VR poker game back in 2016. Wearing VR accessories, the player finds himself in the poker room, or to be more precise, in its entrance hall, where he can look around and decide what he wants to do next. The user has the possibility to create a gaming table or join the existing one. After making the choice, the user can start playing straight away. Besides, players can add Twitch chat and run streams.
The technology is imperfect for now and you cannot see the real face of your companion as well as his real emotions: all players are represented by lighted figures; you can see their glasses and hands.
Players can choose actions and items from the menu using virtual reality controllers. Settings are realized in the form of a standalone panel, where you can purchase different things – even coffee and cigarettes (moreover, you can even smoke virtual cigarettes). In the process of the game, the customer sees his hands and can manipulate chips and cards.
Software suppliers are working to allow users to see emotions and mimics of other players and communicate as if they were playing real-life poker. Taking into account the fast development of VR technologies, it sounds quite real; at least the development of VR casinos is already available to all operators.
Prospects for the nearest future
Technologies of augmented and virtual reality are attractive for players as they can provide tactual sensation, the biggest possible field of view, and a possibility to hear realistic sounds. It is rather efficient to attract customers in this way, but the development of such an online casino costs a lot.
VR software should be reliable, work seamlessly even when the load is high, and have a big number of functions. Besides, casino operators should have the possibility to get updates quickly and easily. VR casinos should be compatible with mobile devices, as they are very popular among players.
VR and AR technologies are getting more and more advanced year-by-year and corresponding accessories – more affordable for users. This means that the number of potential visitors of VR casinos is growing and VR games are getting more popular. This happens thanks to the fact that with every year players can get a fuller sensation of holding cards or pressing buttons of slot machines.
Another advantage of VR (combined with the AR technology) that may attract customers in the future is the potential possibility to “carry” the person over to the real facility. Thus, players will have the possibility to visit a land-based casino remotely. Being in another part of the world, the user will be able to visit famous casinos in Vegas and even play there.
VR technology is becoming a real trend in the gambling industry in 2019. The well-known developer PokerStars released PokerStars VR game available to play with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The company also focuses on the integration of social media, which will open additional opportunities for online streamers. Microgaming and Novomatic are also working on the development of VR technologies in online games.
It is quite likely that soon poker fans will be able to download and assess VR game versions almost on any platform including Oculus, Steam, and Viveport. This will help to make gambling more realistic and attractive to users.