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The Impact Virtual Reality Could Have on Online Casinos

By Ed Becker in Casino
| January 21, 2018 12:00 am PDT
Virtual Reality

For someone to say that virtual reality is not the next big thing is similar to a person from the year 1948 saying that television could never overtake the radio in popularity.

There is no denying that the future is here since virtual reality is already being used extensively for virtual military training, medical training and entertainment purposes all over the globe.

The demand for this technology will get stronger as it becomes cheaper for customers to afford. Currently, a pair of Oculus Rift Goggles can cost you anywhere from $400 to $800, but this price is certain to go down in coming years.

When it does, you can be sure that there will be multiple sets in every household, much like the way that televisions are so prevalent today.

Eventually, there will be such a huge breakthrough in this virtual technology that it could have serious impacts on the current state of Internet gambling sites. For the purposes of this article, I will separate these gambling sites into two parts: online casinos and online poker rooms.

By analyzing the possible impacts that virtual reality could have on each one, you brace yourselves for the future and also give yourself the chance to potentially stumble across profitable business opportunities.

Possible Impact on Online Casinos

One area of the Internet that will be affected the most by virtual reality’s presence is online casinos. These gambling websites offer games of chance to all of their customers, and they can usually be played either for free or for real money.

While there are already some virtual reality features out there, the idea in its entirety is still in the infant stages. Right now, there is one online casino that advertises itself as a virtual reality casino, SlotsMillion Casino, but there is only one game in their entire casino that has virtual reality capabilities.

As of right now, you can’t just throw on a headset and appear in a casino in a virtual universe where you can do anything you want.

The question is, what will happen once that capability becomes a reality? There are a lot of possible impacts that such an advancement in technology could have on the current state of online casinos.

Human Interaction

Gambling from the comfort of your own home has its perks, but human interaction is not one of them. All you will be interacting with is your dog, your family and possibly the bag of chips sitting next to you if you get really lonely.

There is one feature that provides an exception to this rule known as Live Dealer games. These games allow you to play casino games from your home or mobile phone with the help of an actual human dealer via webcam in another remote location.

While these Live Dealer games do provide a little more human interaction, they don’t come close to what the virtual reality games could potentially do.

Even though you are communicating with these dealers via webcam, it feels like more of a FaceTime video chat than an actual casino experience.

Virtual reality has the future potential to make you feel as if you are actually IN the casino and not sitting on planet Earth.

In addition, a virtual casino offers the possibility of meeting new players that you are sitting next to at a certain table. This is not a realistic expectation for an online casino in its current form.

This difference alone could be responsible for bringing millions of lonely people from all over the globe together, even if they don’t want to gamble.

It is sometimes tough to meet people in real life as you get older, and it is tough to trust people on the Internet. However, virtual reality could perhaps be the social medium that our society needs to make it easier for people to socialize in a healthy fashion.

Draw More Players

Let’s say that you are an everyday casino gambler who just found out that there is new technology that will allow you to play inside of a virtual casino and walk around while also being in the comfort of your own home.

Do you foresee yourself going to the brick and mortar casino more,

less or exactly the same as before?

The answer in most cases is going to be that you are going to attend brick and mortar casinos less than you used to. This is simply due to the fact that the virtual casino is more convenient for a number of reasons.

First of all, there is no cigarette smoke in a virtual casino. Even if there was, it would not affect your actual real-life human lungs in any way, and there would be no risk of getting cancer.

Secondly, you do not have to tip your dealer in a virtual casino because they are not real humans. The only reason you tip people in a land-based casino is to help them survive and make their life easier. There is no reason to do this for a mirage.

Lastly, I assume that a virtual casino will feature different music for each person that comes in—sort of like Bill Gates’ house where the art on the wall appears different to each person that walks in.

If this is a customizable feature, then this would give virtual casinos a huge advantage over land-based casinos and might attract some players who are sick of hearing the same radio songs over and over again at their local casino.

Possible Impact on Online Poker

The impact that virtual reality could have on Internet poker rooms is a totally different ballpark compared to online casinos.

Even though these are both forms of gambling in some sense, online casinos do not involve other players in any way since you are only playing against the house at all times.

The fact that you play against other players and don’t have to compete against a house edge is what allows poker to qualify as a “skill game”.

Even though there is currently a tiny bit less “skill” involved in online poker compared to casino poker since you cannot physically see your opponents, virtual reality presents the possibility that this could soon be a thing of the past.

Holodeck Poker?

Remember the Star Trek Enterprise from the show “Star Trek: Next Generations”? This spaceship had what was known as a “holodeck” on board, which was a virtual reality program built into the computer’s mainframe that could transfer people to different virtual reality environments.

These people were then able to stop and start the virtual reality simulation whenever they wished, as they were essentially inside of a computer program.

We are only one or two steps away from this being a reality that changes online poker as everyone knows it.

It is not impossible that in the near future you will just be able to throw on an Oculus Rift headset and suddenly be sitting in a virtual room,

at a virtual poker table full of other real humans who got into this alternate reality using the same headsets.

Imagine how fun it would be to throw a virtual chair out a virtual window with zero consequences when you lose a big hand. Envision being able to actually see the pain on your opponents faces for once while playing online poker.

Visualize how fun it must be to exist and interact with others in a virtual world while you are making real money that is usable back on planet Earth.

Increase in Popularity

The possibilities of this virtual reality online poker format are endless. Something similar to my holodeck poker vision would be absolutely revolutionary to the online poker world since people would probably choose to play from the comfort of their home more often.

One of the reasons for this is that the skillsets from casino poker would then become more relevant in online poker, assuming that the holodeck would give you a real-time view of other players’ faces.

This would obviously bring more casino players into the mix, which Internet poker is severely lacking at the moment.

Another reason that people might choose to play poker online more often in a virtual reality environment is to experience the cutting edge of technology. There is no greater thrill than having your fingers on the best product a human can possibly produce at that moment in time.

Why do you think the lines outside of an Apple store are hundreds of people long whenever a new iPhone is released?

Conclusion

No, you did not wake up in the middle of a cheesy science fiction novel. Virtual reality is here to stay, and it has the potential to completely take over a ton of various industries as the technology advances.

Internet gambling sites are one of these various industries, and virtual reality stands to make more of an impact in that area than any other.

Two kinds of sites where the effects will be felt greatly are the online poker rooms and the online casinos—neither of which currently have very good virtual reality capabilities.

However, that doesn’t mean that these capabilities will stay primitive for very long. Human beings are known for having technology that advances at an exponential rate, and virtual reality is on the cutting edge of the latest technology that is available.

Virtual reality is the closest thing that we have to dreaming while we are awake, and I predict that it will keep the nightmares away from the online poker and online casino industries.

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