Finding somebody who says that gambling is not a lucrative business may require a certain degree of effort. Especially considering the gambling industry in the US alone was valued at $2.65 billion in 2021.
The massive growth in the industry has spurred the growth and development of new and more exciting games, new online casino features, and innovative ways to let people enjoy this popular pastime.
As technology goes through yet another evolution, virtual and augmented reality have come to the forefront as the future of interaction and entertainment. This evolution has led many people in the gambling arena to ask: are VR and AR the future of gambling?
This article will investigate precisely what these technologies are and how they work. We’ll also examine how it creeps into your favorite casino. Ultimately, we’ll consider if these technologies are the future of the extensive gambling industry or if they’re just a fad that will soon disappear.
What are VR and AR?
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two separate but closely related types of technology that allow you to view an alternative reality or place virtual items/people within your reality. While many people think this technology is new, it has been around for quite a few years.
The first VR/AR was invented in 1968 and was called Sword of Damocles. However, the technology lay dormant for years before new interest peaked in the topic in 2016. That’s when companies such as Valve and Oculus made significant progress, making VR headsets commercially viable for home consumers. Since then, it has expanded to the creation of whole virtual worlds and user experiences that add stunning visuals to our reality.
Rob Morgan, game writer for Game Story TV, best explained what VR is. He said, “VR has the capacity to let you embody another person or thing, to literally put you in their shoes, in a way none of our media has before.”
How do VR and AR work?
Both augmented and virtual reality are generated using a computer algorithm and AI (artificial intelligence). However, the way that the two display is slightly different.
For VR, users must wear a headset that usually covers their eyes. This headset has an immersive display that shows an entirely digitally created world. All things in this world are computer generated. Headphones usually accompany these headsets and play immersive sounds.
AR, on the other hand, uses a device screen and camera to insert items into physical reality. In this, the computer overlays an image or video of the virtual object onto the backdrop fed by the device camera. This makes the virtual item appear to be inside the physical reality.
Both technologies use sensors and gyroscopes to calibrate the CG (computer-generated) realities and align them with the user or the user’s physical reality. This leads to even more believable and immersive experiences that can feel all too real.
VR and AR in the Gambling Industry
The technology behind virtual and augmented reality is not the only industry that has exploded in the last few years. Due in part to the historic lockdowns imposed on the world and the rest in part to the convenience and advantages offered, online gambling has grown exponentially.
What followed was the emergence of endless fantastic online casino websites like those found on slotsource.com. These sites use the latest technology and features to offer players the best possible gambling experiences.
As expected, VR and AR are both slowly moving into this arena. Even though AR is easier to develop than VR, VR is more widely being explored. As a result, many online casino websites are beginning to adopt VR, as are the developers behind the games available on such sites.
Some of these developers include industry-heavy hitters like Microgaming and NetEnt. These firms have been exploring the world of VR since 2016 and have made enormous strides in adapting games for VR immersion.
Alongside games being specially designed or adapted for VR, many online casinos are also working on creating VR territories. These digital casino areas mimic brick-and-mortar casinos and allow you to walk around the casino floor before selecting a game to play.
As with any other VR location, these casinos feature all the decorative aspects of a typical casino and truly make you feel like you are in the building. The difference is that because everything is virtually created, these buildings are much better, neater, and never require any maintenance.
True to what Mark Zuckerburg said—“VR is going to make our reality that much better”—these casinos offer a unique place to enjoy wagering and hoping for a big win.
The Future of VR and AR in Gambling
While there has been a significant uptake of VR and AR technology in the gambling industry, the uptake has been slow compared to some other industries. This could be attributed to the lack of necessary hardware owned by players or simply to players not yet being overly willing to experience immersive gambling.
Thankfully, VR sales are estimated to increase to 30 million units annually by 2023. This will make the lack of hardware a thing of the past. And, with major developers like those mentioned above already exploring the VR experience, it shouldn’t be long before more developers pick up the baton.
VR and AR is a controversial topic that has created many arguments. From the view that it is anti-social to the fact that it could help provide therapeutic environments for people, everybody is entitled to their own opinion on the technology.
What is confident and without any argument is that the industry is exploding at a fantastic rate. The launch of the Metaverse and many other virtual worlds have only helped to accelerate this growth. Based on this, it seems inevitable that VR and AR will make their way more prominently into the gambling industry.
Whether you’re a player who will embrace the new immersive and interactive gambling experiences that this will bring or someone who prefers more traditional gambling, there is no doubt that the industry is changing. However, whether VR and AR will be the future of gambling or just a brief phase in its history remains to be seen.