The future of casinos - Virtually speaking

In many parts of the world, the doors to physical, real-life casinos have now been firmly closed for over a year.  While some hospitality venues such as restaurants and bars have enjoyed welcome (if brief) periods of opening, the risk for casinos and nightclubs was deemed simply too high as the pandemic raged. 

While this has been devastating for these venues, it has cracked the world of online betting wide open.  The online casino industry saw significant growth during 2020 and this has been followed by leaps in advancement for the technology involved.  Even as restrictions begin to ease, online casinos continue to go from strength to strength and, for those within the world of online betting, the future is pretty clear - its virtual.

A new reality on the cards

Virtual reality has, of course, been with us for some time in the world of gaming but, in recent years, its been creeping into many other aspects of our lives as we continue to discover the incredible benefits of this technology. 

 

It’s predicted that, by the end of 2021, the financial investment in online casinos will have experienced a 800% rise over last year - a staggering figure which shows just how popular these platforms have become and, virtual reality will provide a natural next step for the industry.

 

At present, casino style games are available online for those with virtual reality equipment but these tend to be solely for entertainment - i.e, users play for fun without investing or winning any cash.  While these kind of sites are not big news, the actual VR casino is and, many believe that its just around the corner.

So what will the VR casino look like?

 

Unlike the VR entertainment casino games, at the VR casino, players will very much be able to recreate the traditional casino by investing, winning (and losing) real money as they play a variety of games.   Using VR equipment, the customer will be placed within a ‘casino’ after completing the usual account opening procedures and making a financial deposit.  This will, essentially, offer the customer the ‘real’ casino experience - without the dress code!

Socially speaking

 

Within the virtual casino, guests will be able to do so much more than just just chat with other guests within the platform.  Guests will be able to mingle in the virtual lounge or have a drink together at the virtual bar (even using credits to buy one another drinks) as well as interacting with the croupier; including being able to observe realistic hand movements and other forms of body language.  Customers will be able to choose between a traditional casino with gaming tables or one which features every imaginable slot machine.  Not only that but they’ll be able to visit a casino in any city in the world - complete with incredibly realistic views through the virtual windows. As the virtual casino evolves, customers will be able to take a walk through the building and even go outside - for example, a customer visiting a virtual casino in Las Vegas will be able to stroll down the strip in between games

 

With virtual reality’s ability to take the customer around the building and even outside, this does, of course, present massive opportunities for online casino owners in terms of partnerships and promotions.  For example, a London based online casino might offer the customer the chance to take a short walk around Piccadilly Circus.  The casino might then secure deals with retailers and other businesses which the customer may encounter during their walk.  All of this would, of course, bring in some very welcome advertising revenue to the casino.  When done right, the casino could hold a number of promotions at any given time - for example, the stroll around the West End may take the customer past a clothing store, a restaurant, an ice cream shop and a theatre. 

Deal or no deal

 

While mainstream VR casinos may still be a little way off, the work is already underway with initiatives such as AppReal-VR’s BetOnVR; a gambling specific VR development in the USA.  All of this means that online casinos will be looking to make sure that they have employees with the relevant skills and experience to make the virtual reality casino happen and should be looking to find out what they need in order to make their virtual reality casino a reality. 

 

For online casinos looking to make the leap to virtual reality in the future, the major concern will be the fear that this will mean employing lots of super-expensive staff to put it in place.  The good news is that this may not necessarily be the case as online casinos tend to employ people who are pretty tech-savvy to begin with and, so, it may be that it’s just a simple case of upskilling.  Generally speaking, the ideal VR candidate will have the following skills:

 

  • Video Editing
  • 3D Modelling
  • Digitalisation trends and forecasts
  • CAD and DSLR
  • VR Operation Tools
  • Creation Of VR Content

 

Most existing technical employees in online casinos will (or should) already have the top four skills listed above - which means that training those employees in more advanced VR skills needn’t be problematic or expensive.  This is very much a win win as the casino gains the new skills that it needs and the employee gets to add another string to his or her bow. 

The new normal

 

We are all, of course, very much hoping that the end is in sight when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic and that we’ll soon return to some kind of normality, including venues opening their doors once again.  However, even when this does happen, a large number of people will still choose to live their lives online, whether through caution or because they have become accustomed to the convenience and time savings associated with this.  For online casinos, this means that business is likely to be booming - but only for those who move with the times by getting on board with the latest technology in order to keep those customers interested.

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.