Virtual Reality Casinos
Many gamers enjoy playing at land-based casinos and many others enjoy playing at online casinos from the comfort of their home. But a group of other people have begun playing at virtual reality casinos, and they’re enjoying it.
Virtual reality has become increasingly popular over recent years and its now slowly making its way to online casinos, allowing users to play in a virtual, online casino in order to get the complete casino experience. But what is VR casino and how does it work? Read on to find out.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality is an interactive and computer-generated experience that takes place in a simulated environment which can either appear similar to the real world or can be completely different. Instead of viewing a screen in front of the players, users are placed in 3D worlds they can interact with.
VR technology is normally played with special headsets that stimulate a player’s visual and auditory senses. Many virtual reality sets also include controllers that allow players to interact with the virtual environment. Some of the more prominent VR headsets are the Oculus, PlayStation VR and the HTC Vive.
What is VR Casino?
Virtual reality casinos are basically extensions of online casinos but offer players an experience similar to that of land-based casinos. With some virtual reality casinos, players can walk around virtual casinos and experience the glamour and excitement of land-based casinos while actually interacting with chips, dealers, dice and more.
Meanwhile, there are also other virtual reality casinos that transport users into fictional worlds to play slot games. Players can spin the reels themselves and watch as the environment reacts to their wins or losses. What could be more fun?
How Do VR Casinos Work?
While virtual reality is still a new technology, casino developers are working hard to create fun and exciting VR casino games. Since it’s in its infancy, there are only a few casinos which provide the experience and only a handful of games to try out, but it’s expected to grow dramatically over the next few years.
Online Slots are some of the most popular games to play across all three types of casinos. VR slots are no different from the games found at online casinos, except you’re placed in a 3D fictional environment reflecting the theme of the game that reacts to your wins and losses.
For example, NetEnt’s Jack’s VR World game, based on Jack and the Beanstalk, features icons and an environment based around the childhood story. It also features Jack himself, who runs after your prizes and reacts to the result of the reels.
Blackjack plays somewhat different compared to the slots games. VR blackjack games are actually more similar to the versions played at land-based casinos than those online. For example, VR blackjack games offer a completely immersive experience by allowing players to reach out and place chips on the table while seeing and handling the cards.
Similar to VR blackjack games, virtual reality roulette allows players to interact with their environment, either by moving chips around or by virtually spinning the roulette wheel themselves. It’s much more fun than the online counterpart, in which the wheel is spun for you.
VR Casino Requirements
For anyone wishing to play VR casino games, it’s important you understand that you’ll need specific equipment to play, and it won’t be cheap. To play at virtual reality casinos, players will need the following:
- A VR headset
- Headphones compatible with the headset
Most VR products come in bundles which include the headset and headphones, though some might also include controllers. The three headsets that work best with VR casinos are the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and the Samsung Gear VR. Sony PlayStation also released their own VR system but it was created purely for PS4 gaming, however, some users have made the headset work with casinos.
The price of VR headsets can vary depending on the bundle you buy and buying the headset alone will be much cheaper than buying large bundles. Still, prices can start at around £200 for the PlayStation VR system and can quickly go over £1,000 for a large HTC Vive system.
It’s important you research which VR system suits your personal preferences.
Why Play Virtual Reality Casinos?
VR casinos offer plenty of fun and interesting features for users to play around with. As mentioned, virtual reality casinos transport players into a fully-interactive 3D environment. But they also offer numerous other features, check them out below:
- A combination of land-based and online-based casino gaming
- The ability to interact with other gamblers via chat and voice function
- Fun multiplayer games and a huge choice of avatars or characters to choose from”
As we’ve mentioned before, virtual reality casino gaming is still in its infancy, this means developers are still working out how to provide players with the best experience and ironing out any kinks in their games. Since everything is still quite new, some users may be disappointed to find that:
- A limited selection of games and experiences
- Graphics aren’t as good as online and mobile casino games
- It can be expensive to buy a VR headset compatible with casinos
Land-based, Online or Virtual?
Now, with the list of VR casino’s positives and negatives laid out above, you may be wondering which type of casino is better to play at, whether that’s land-based, online or virtual reality.
We’ll be honest and tell you that, right now, online casinos offer players a wider choice of games to play. It’s cheaper to play, as most users already possess smartphones or tablets, and online casinos offer better promotions than land-based casinos, which also suffer due to size restrictions.
However, VR casinos are new and exciting and playing virtual casino games gives players the chance to be part of something that’s still developing. Virtual reality is expected to grow rapidly in the future, so why not jump in early while you can?
Where Can You Play Virtual Reality Casinos?
As of 2018, there are only a few casinos or software providers offering virtual reality games. Slots Million was the first company to release a VR casino platform in which players can walk around in a 3D casino located in a high-rise building.
NetEnt also dabbled into VR casino gaming by releasing their Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest and Jack’s VR World slot machine games. As we mentioned above, these slots game feature interactive environments in which customers react to the player’s wins or losses by dancing, picking up prizes and more.
NetEnt and Microgaming demoed VR games at the ICE Totally Gaming event in 2016. NetEnt showed off their exciting slots games while Microgaming revealed a futuristic, space-themed roulette game. They also demoed a blackjack game in which a player can move chips, collect bets and spin the roulette wheel.
Casino providers are continually working on these games and developing new ones and players who decide to start playing VR casino games will see and experience frequent updates.
Online Casinos to Virtual Reality
Virtual reality has actually been in the works since the 1960s, in which a machine called the Senorama allowed users to watch one of five short films that engaged the user’s sight, sound, smell and touch. As online casinos were created in the early 1990s, so was one of the first official, though somewhat rudimentary, VR headsets. Computer Gaming World released their own VR set and claimed it would be the world’s most “affordable VR by 1994”. They were wrong, however, as that title was later awarded tot he Oculus VR in 2014.
As developers continued working on VR headsets, online casino gambling really kicked off. Technology continued to advance, paving the way for more complex games, jaw-dropped graphics and much more. The release and rising popularity of smartphones also meant that online casinos saw a boost in activity as many more people began trying online games.
By 2016, an estimated 230 companies were developing VR products, whether in the form of games or headsets and controllers. This number has only continued to rise and many casino developers decided to expand their online casino platforms by adapting them with VR technology. Casino and software providers are still developing the technology today and will continue updating and innovating for the years to come.
The Future of VR Casinos
As virtual reality casinos continue to grow and technology becomes more powerful, we’ll eventually see a huge improvement in the graphics available. It’s thought that this will offer plays a complete casino experience identical to those found at land-based casinos.
More games will eventually be added to virtual casinos and users may soon begin playing sic bo, baccarat, bingo and much more. It’s also thought that virtual reality casinos will make online gambling more social as it allows players to interact with one another while using the headsets.
Who knows, virtual reality casinos may just completely replace real ones in the future…