Virtual Reality: The Future of Online Casino Gaming

Thanks to rapid advancements in technology, the way we play casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette and poker has evolved phenomenally over the past several decades. Online casinos have now overtaken their land-based counterparts in popularity, with millions of us holding an active account at a gambling site. And no modern gambler can say they haven’t heard about Virtual Reality (VR), the technology set to further revolutionise the way we play casino games online.

The quest for realism

The rise of the online casino in the 1990s’ was initially met with scepticism. Although the convenience was clear from the start, many gamblers doubted a virtual casino could replicate the atmosphere, the glamour and the excitement of the real thing and thus were reluctant to make the transition online.

Technological innovations in the industry, therefore, focused heavily on creating an even more authentic and stimulating casino experience for the online player to help gamblers overcome their early reservations. High quality 3D graphics and interactive bonus rounds have now become staple features of online video slots, whilst state-of-the-art live streaming platforms were created to enable blackjack, roulette and poker players to get the action of a real table delivered directly to their PC and smartphones.

But the most exciting of all 21st century innovations in online casino gaming have come from VR technologies. Though still in its infancy, VR is considered ‘the future of the online casino’. Early glimpses of the technology promise a level of realism that even the best live streaming platforms and 3D graphics have failed to achieve. VR is capable of fully immersing players in a computer-generated world of authentic casino sights and sounds, a world in which they can freely interact with other players, a world where they can wander unrestricted from table to table, a world where they can pull slot machine levers and move casino chips around just as if they were in a genuine casino.

Broadening the appeal

Most every day casino gamers are yet to witness the powers of the technology first hand, though the hype around its potential is no secret in the world of gambling. Talk of VR has been rife amongst industry experts and hard-core players for almost two decades. Its success is predicted not just off its potential to blur the boundary between internet and real casinos, but also its potential to blur the boundary between gambling and video gaming.

Jack and the Beanstalk is considered by many as the pioneering VR slot. It was developed by the Swedish software company NetEnt, who took the already-popular 3D version of the game and transformed it into a full-blown VR experience with a greater all-round feel. Players are not stuck before the reel set; they are free to explore the entirety of Jack’s 360-degree virtual fairy-tale world in all its colour and glory. In this way, the game plays more like a modern PlayStation or Xbox video game than a traditional Vegas-style slot machine. Hence the appeal of the VR slot stretches way beyond just gamblers; it encompasses a younger audience of millennial console gamers and tech-enthusiasts too, meaning its future success could know no bounds.

VR now and beyond

There are online sites already dedicated entirely to providing VR casino slot and table games for online players. These sites are expected to increase rapidly in number as the technology advances in the coming years, more VR games are released and VR headsets become more accessible to everyday consumers. Indeed, VR is shaping the future of gambling and making now an incredibly exciting time to be an online casino gamer.

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