Virtual Reality Casinos – Next Level or Non-Starter?
Next to be hit by the never-ending technological tidal wave is casinos, as it seems that the newest online gambling experience becoming available is all set to keep us pinned to our sofas – enter the VR casino!
Virtual reality casinos represent the very thin membrane which currently divides the worlds of video gaming and online gambling. They are designed to give the user the feel and atmosphere of a land-based casino, with all of the sound effects and the same mix of slots and table games like Blackjack and Roulette.
Players choose an online persona and enter their chosen venue through the front doors, where they are greeted by the sounds of chatter, clinking glasses and slot machines. Inside they can free roam, chat to other players and even order a drink from the bar until they decide where to spend their (not) virtual money.
The VR casino experience has been manifestly described as “immersive” and “better than a video game”. The secret behind the technology is that the VR graphics are produced using a ridiculously high frame rate and resolution, combined with some very clever videography.
This All Sounds Pretty Amazing, so What’s The Downside?
Well, there is actually more than one downside. First, the cost of setting yourself up with a good VR headset, like Oculus Rift which will set you back about £400, or for the top-spec HTC versions, you can rack that figure up to about £1200.
Second, it is highly likely that even an average gaming PC is not going to cut it for this particular task. Then you will need a top-grade screen to view the action correctly, a decent gaming mouse and controller... let’s just add another £2-3k for all the upgrades
Assuming you are prepared to make the £3-5k investment needed to get all the right equipment (after all, the kids can always use it for their games as well), where can you go to play?
Well right there is the final problem, there are currently only a limited number of online gambling sites which offer the VR casino experience and there are also very few players who can afford the equipment to play, never mind having spare cash to gamble with.
Stakes are high in these VR casinos: the developers need to recoup their investment into the technology and after all, you wouldn’t walk into a ‘real’ casino with a tenner to gamble would you?
Worst case scenario, you could end up on your own in a room full of empty slots and game tables, with only the dealers for company, which somehow defeats the object of the exercise.
Is There a Future For VR in The Casino World?
A good question. There is always a chance that this technology could end up in the same rubbish heap as cassette tapes, floppy discs and plasma TVs. On the other hand, the cost of the high-tech equipment will come down in time and there will be far more players able to join you at your favourite casino.
However, this is not something that will happen overnight, so you could be playing with yourself for a long time yet!
Tracy started writing for us in early 2017 and is a crucial player within our team. She’s the editor of our Blog and regularly writes other articles. Tracy’s online gambling insights are born out of years of real-world experience as a Croupier overseeing table games.