Every year there is a new technological advancement and it gets harder and harder to keep up. Online casinos have only been around for just over 2 decades and already the dramatic increase in the quality of graphics and features is amazing.
The jump to mobile casinos was hardly a surprise, and we all knew it was only a matter of time before smartwatches had their day too. Augmented reality recently broke out into the industry, with players able to transform their dining room table into a Blackjack table, and now it seems virtual reality is the next advancement to come our way.
Imagine being able to put on your headset and step onto the red carpet of your favourite casino, walk across the gaming floor and sit down at your favourite pokies machine, all while comfortably seated on your sofa. It sounds ideal to many. The option of virtual reality has got all the developers minds racing as they consider the various features they could add. Perhaps a bonus round would see the player hurtling down a roller coaster to grab a free spin waiting at the bottom.
Gaming developers have long been looking for a way to bring in the resistant millennials. A generation who grew up attached to the Xbox or PlayStation is hard to lure out to a casino. But online casinos are much more accessible and developers see virtual reality as a completely new format. Most online casino features are focused on better graphics or better bonus features. However, virtual reality could see gaming heading into a more ‘gamified’ realm, where skill at bonus rounds or practice playing games like Halo could improve the odds.
As with any new development, the licensing of these new features presents a few challenges. The Malta Gaming Authority has already put some new conditions in place, which are being used, by the first VR casino.
For example, virtual reality casinos need to have clock on the wall, unlike land-based casinos, so that payers don’t lose themselves in the games. The addition of game-like features similar to an Xbox game would open the door to a whole new range of challenges for licensing, as it would immediately contravene the rule that all players have the same odds. But it could be argued that a game like Poker already favours the skilled player. Whatever the outcome of the decisions, this is definitely an industry worth watching.