One of the most striking trends in the gambling market is the use of VR (Virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) technologies. Thanks to them, an incredible level of immersion in the game is achieved, as well as getting new emotions and impressions.
Many companies are currently developing VR casinos, slot machines, roulette, poker, blackjack and other gambling games. But there is no mass demand for such services yet. However, many people believe that this is the future and the very near future.
Virtual reality provides the highest level of immersion. Modern technologies allow not only to create high-quality 3D graphics, but also to place live people in a virtual environment. This can be both dealers and other players. As a result, for example, a poker game may be indistinguishable from a real one.
Special controllers allow you to interact with objects in the virtual space. The player can throw chips, press buttons on slot machines, and Express emotions with gestures.
The virtual reality market has one serious problem. This is the availability of virtual reality headsets. First, they are very expensive for the mass consumer. Price tags for headsets with high-quality graphics will start at $ 1,000. Second, the market is still under development. New models of VR glasses appear regularly, some companies try to dictate standards, others suddenly stop their activities.
When developing a mobile casino app, it is enough to make a version for iOS and Android. This will meet the needs of 99% of potential users. Headsets are more complex. You will need a separate version for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens. And these are the most popular headsets. And there are dozens of other platforms from HP, LG, Samsung and so on. The cost of development in such conditions increases several times.
In addition to the cost of the headset, the user must purchase a VR-compatible computer. In practice, this means having a fairly powerful modern video card. This is another restriction that significantly increases the entry threshold.
All these requirements, except for the price, are already met by the Oculus Quest headset. It remains to be seen how much it costs.
Back in 2016, Juniper Research, an analytical Agency, predicted a rapid growth of virtual technologies. They estimated that the VR/AR market would reach $500 million by 2021.
In accordance with ResearchAndMarkets.com according to experts, as of 2018, the total volume of the gambling market was $ 449 billion. By 2022, it plans to grow to $ 565 billion (an annual increase of 6%). Against this background, even half a billion does not seem a significant amount. But the same experts say that VR will grow much faster than other segments – by about 15% annually. In some regions, such as the United States, the annual increase will be 40-55%.
According to estimates of the Agency “Techno Plus”, by 2022, the volume of the virtual entertainment market in the field of gambling will grow to $ 360 million. The current estimate, as of 2019, is $ 100 million.
SlotsMillion was often cited as an example of a successful VR casino. Back in 2015,the company launched SlotsMillion VR online casino. Using Oculus Rift glasses, the player can wander around a colorful room with slot machines, sit down for anyone and play. There are about 40 slots available in total.
According to the company’s managers, for the first time after the launch, they faced a number of problems. First of all, there are not many gambling enthusiasts in the world who have a VR headset at home. Second, regulators are trying to tighten laws regarding virtual casinos. SlotsMillion used the Malta license. The country is known for its loyal attitude to gambling. But in this case, the regulator required compliance with several requirements at once. For example, games must have a clock. This is done in order to.
Many of the most popular online casino solution providers have already started to adopt virtual technologies. These include companies such as:
The company develops software for online casinos that is supported by VR gadgets. The company can also implement VR support for games that do not initially use this technology.
The company offers virtual roulette VR Roulette. It works with Oculus Rift headsets and Leaps Motion controllers. By using these controllers, the player gets a greater degree of immersion.
This provider has several casino slots with VR support in its assortment. These are Gonzo’s Quest, Jack’s World VR, Starburst and Scarface games.
Most of the VR adaptations of slots are quite simple. They consist of changing the geometry of the slot and adding various three-dimensional effects. By choosing a slot machine, the user gets a picture “full screen”. During the game, you can not turn your eyes left or right and see the neighboring machines and players behind them.
From a business point of view, the launch of VR casinos is not much different from the launch of the site or mobile application. Games, in any case, will be more profitable to take from proven providers. Marketing will always be the most expensive part. The main thing is the presence of demand. With this, there are still some problems.
The main indicator indicating the growth of the VR-industry will be the appearance of an affordable and at the same time productive headset. From a large company, which will be able to capture a significant volume of the market. Not so long ago Google refused to develop its VR-platform. Now all hope on Facebook.