Published on April 25th, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi0
Virtual Reality Slots – The Future Of The Gambling Industry
Technology changes the way live in many ways. In fact, it is difficult to find an industry or an area that has been left unchanged and unaffected in the past few decades. Just try to remember the days before the internet and how we used to do things back then and you’ll understand immediately what we’re talking about. We did a piece on technology and how it changed the gambling industry last year where we discussed the most important ways in which technology changed gambling from an operational perspective.
But there is another, perhaps more essential way in which technology changed online gambling. It changed the whole user-experience and the way players experience casinos and casino gambling.
The Build-Up Or How Did It All Begin
Yes, virtual reality slots are our main topic, but it would be nice to see how the industry reached this point and which were the previous technological advancements that enabled the emergence of video slots.
At first, online casinos were pretty basic. A lot of players had concerns regarding safety, there weren’t a lot of payment options and a lot of things were undefined. As online gambling was a new phenomenon, it was unregulated in most countries or at leas the current laws weren’t detailed or specific enough to cover it.
Many states left things unregulated, whereas other introduced laws that governed online gambling including specific provisions on operators, what they’re supposed to do and what mechanisms they need to introduce to protect players. The industry became more and more regulated, and most large, developed countries permitted at least certain forms of online gambling. The USA is probably the most complex example, as the American authorities adopted a pretty restrictive attitude towards the gambling industry and following the enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in most states online gambling was prohibited or severely restricted.
The UK and their liberal approach to online gambling for many years were taken as an example for other developed countries. Practically all forms of online gambling were regulated in Britain and the government benefited from tax revenue, whereas players were guaranteed protection and fair gambling conditions.
The First Online Casino Games
The games that were initially offered online matched the games that were available at the land-based casinos at the time. Slot machines, software versions of popular casino games like Blackjack and Roulette were offered, as well as video poker games.
Over the years, many new software providers appeared on the market and the older, well established companies had to put extra efforts to stay on top. During the first decade of the 21st century providers started developing more complex and more exciting online slots with various bonus features and improved graphics and sound effects.
Towards the end of the 2000s, the first several hit online games have already been released. Some of these games such as IGT’s original Cleopatra are still played today. NetEnt’s Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest are two examples of games that maintained their popularity for several years, as well as by Double Bubble by Gamesys. If you want to know more about the latter and why it’s so popular, check out the Double Bubble SlotsWise page where you will find a lot of useful information.
Slots weren’t the only type of games that were developed. Providers released quite a few table and card games over the years, but despite all changes and novelties, most software games were similar. That was until the first live casino games were released. Live casino gaming really revolutionised the way people played card and casino games.
Basically, multiple cameras film an area designed like an actual land-based casino, or in some cases an actual casino and the footage is integrated and displayed in real time, so players get to communicate with human dealers/croupiers and place their bets via a button. Everything feels and looks like a land-based casino, but you don’t have to leave your home, you can even play on your mobile device.
The Rise Of VR Technology & VR Slots
Developing technology that would enable players to experience an alternate reality and feel, hear and see things that aren’t there has been a lifelong goal of scientists. When the first prototype of a VR headset was developed, pretty much everybody realised the potential and the opportunity.
Online casino operators also understood that the new technology could have a lot of potential. Few years ago the first VR slots were announced and now we have casino sites that offer VR gambling. The trend is still new, even though it has been few years. The prize of VR headsets is the main reason why the trend hasn’t caught up yet, but as soon as prices drop, we can be pretty certain that software developers and online casino sites will join the momentum. It is hard to predict when, but standard video online slots will be a thing of the past, whereas VR slots will become quite common.