Predicting the future is a risky business. In fact: it’s the business that casinos and sportsbooks are built on. In 1994, the world’s first online casino hit the Internet. It’s been 21 years. Where is it now and what does the future hold?
It’s ironic: today, one of the most innovative areas in online gaming technology development is creating the perfect virtual casino. That is: a rendered representation of a real world casino in a virtual world. It’s a little bit like using a computer to develop the pen and paper.
Developer Lucky VR describes itself as a ‘virtual reality provider’. The Toronto-based business offers players an ‘immersive experience’ and is busy developing casino applications for both the Oculus Rift and the Samsung Gear VR headsets.
Users will be able to walk around note perfect virtual versions of the world’s most popular casinos. They will be free to wander, play a slot machine, roll the dice at the Craps table, chat with friends at Blackjack, or even have a virtual cocktail at the casino bar.
Although virtual representations of real world casinos are an amazing branding tool, and a great way for curious gamblers to experience the character of a casino on the other side of the planet, the potential for ‘the fantastic’ is where the fun’s at.
RiftSino is Lucky VR’s showcase and designed exclusively for the Oculus Rift. It mimics a Las Vegas style casino. Getting the detail right is key to its success, according to Lucky VR CEO Jeff Lande.
“When I saw the potential of the Oculus Rift and virtual reality I knew that it would have an immense impact on many different industries, including casino gaming. I created Lucky VR to become the leading software VR development studio for VR casino content.”
“VR software development is extremely specialized, compared to developing for other platforms like web or Android/iOS. There are so many more factors that go into creating great VR games/apps that you really need to have VR experts on board,” he said.
To Boldly Bet
The idea of the virtual casino is not new. Developers have been toying with the concept since online gaming started. Poker platform PKR uses lifelike avatars to create a more ‘rounded’ gaming experience and it works.
Up until now, the problem has been the supporting technology but we are now boldly entering the VR age. Microsoft recently announced the HoloLens and it looks stunning. Facebook bought Oculus and both Sony and Samsung are in the game. It’s coming.
Adult and gambling websites are both at the forefront of developing innovative ways to use new technology. You can guarantee the 3D virtual casino is coming soon, as well as the virtual companion.
Another significant development in online slots is the narrative. As we play online, casinos can track our behavior. More and more games now have extra incentive to keep playing.
Slots reward loyalty with rankings and extra bonuses. In certain games, you earn extra money by being an ‘online slot frequent flyer’. Many games carry dynamic animations and engaging storylines, which all help to keep players involved.
Online casinos have been available on mobile devices for some time. In the household, devices like Chromecast enable us to consolidate all our mobile devices and broadcast them to the same screen.
Jeux Sans Frontieres
All we really know for certain is that online gaming will be at the vanguard of technological development in the next century. It’s a competitive and profitable business and these two attributes drive innovation.
For the past 21 years, online gaming has developed at an exponential rate. It took more than a century for the mechanical slot machine to evolve – the online version is light years faster. Wherever there is an advance in either the delivery method or medium, online gaming is close behind with an application to suit.
Combine holograms and interactive storylines and you can visualize a future where you are playing the part of a dwarf, heading into the mines of Morder, to fight for the gold – literally. Beat the dragon and the jackpot is yours!
Alternatively, you could just book the weekend off, lock yourself in your room, grab a gorgeous virtual friend, and head to all the casinos of Las Vegas.
The virtual experience would give casinos the chance to comp players by rewarding them with exclusive online virtual experiences: live shows, one-to-one performances, or the chance to hang out with the celebrity of your choice. The possibilities are endless, exciting, and a little bit scary. Bring it on.