Virtual reality Internet casinos

Virtual reality (VR) is the next exciting step in interactive technology – a new era of technology we are thoroughly looking forward to, with ample features and options we have yet to experience, and realistic three-dimensional and highly visual interfaces like no other. And VR products are now venturing into the gambling and casino industries, too.

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What is virtual reality?

Also known as immersive multimedia or computer-simulated life, virtual reality technologies are capable of simulating an environment of the real or imagined worlds, in which we feel we are physically present, recreating sensory experiences such as virtual sight, smell, sound, taste and touch.

Microsoft HoloLens virtual reality headsetSome recent virtual reality products which have been and are being made publicly available, include:

  • Google’s Street View and its stereoscopic 3D mode is considered a virtual reality tool
  • Google Glass
  • Apple iGlass
  • Facebook’s Oculus Rift
  • Samsung’s Gear VR headsets
  • Sony’s Project Morpheus – a headset designed for the use with a PlayStation 4
  • The Virtuix Omni
  • HTC and Valve Corporation’s virtual reality headset HTC Vive
  • Microsoft’s HoloLens
  • Magic Leap is a company developing head-mounted gaming devices which superimpose three-dimensional computer-generated images over real objects

Many of the new virtual reality technologies are being developed for gaming purposes, so players are completely immersed in their games – experiencing (seeing and feeling), in first-person mode, what is actually happening within the game. These devices all display incredible potential for enjoying interactive video games.

How are virtual reality technologies compatible with gambling?

Project Morpheus by Sony PlayStation - Virtual reality headsetWith the ability to produce augmented realities and three-dimensional worlds which the user can genuinely experience first hand, virtual reality products and wearable technologies can immerse keen punters in a gambling world – simulated casinos, which feature interactive video slots, gaming tables of roulette, blackjack, baccarat and casino war, poker rooms, big wheels and more.

The potential for multiplayer gaming is a feature which adds another layer of interactivity and excitement. Imagine you and a mate wearing a head-mounted device, and from the comfort of your own home gaming area, you could experience, through a virtual reality, all the sights, sounds and feelings involved in real money casino games.

Mark McGuinness, an iGaming expert and public relations specialist, has over 15 years experience with private and public iGaming operators, within the digital marketing industry.

He explained, in an interview at the ICE Totally Gaming conference (Europe’s premier gambling conference), how gambling is not merely about winning money, but it is as much about the rush and thrill players get from the experience, and VR technologies have the potential to recreate and improve on those emotions and experiences.

“Gaming is about the emotional and physiological experience of playing at the casino tables, and all the sensory stimuli that this delivers,” he said.

“VR could replicate that experience of walking into the casino lobby, being greeted by the hostess, and being led to the gaming floor… For me, opening up this new dimension to gaming makes virtual reality devices the most exciting of all the developments in wearable technology for 2015 and beyond.”

Live examples of VR casinos and games

While still in its early stages of development, VR prototypes are being tested and constantly improved, and just like the iPhone in its primitive stages of production, many gaming companies can see the potential for some stunning and technologically advanced productions.

– Google Glass is in the process of building a gaming feature called ‘Glass betting’ – a VR innovation allowing for real money gambling.

– Lucky VR is one of the leading virtual reality casino software developers, developing immersive gambling experiences by taking traditional games like blackjack, slots and roulette and turning them into VR applications compatible with Oculus Rift and Samsung’s Gear VR headsets.

– Sphinx 3D by GTECH has designed a three-dimensional screen (glass free), which boasts a virtual wheel that can be spun by the movement of your head.

Products that will provide great entertainment value and brilliant realism unlike any other platform, it is just a matter of time before VR software and hardware is released to the public via some truly innovative devices.

Virtual reality casinos are being designed with the finest details so players’ entire scope of vision is surrounded by quality visuals and audio, while sound effects, lighting and dynamic movements will be constantly changing all around you. There is also talk that a Microgaming virtual reality game is on the way.

The ability to interact with other VR players, in real time, and play games together in a social environment will also provide a form of engagement never before experienced outside a genuine land based casino venue.

As of 2015, live dealer gaming at Internet casinos is the closest we’ve come to experiencing a real world casino from the comfort of our own homes and from the convenience of our mobiles phones, and while such games are compelling and boast a fantastic social element to real cash gaming, VR casinos will take things to a completely new level.

And with VR technology, the possibilities to create new experiences within the walls of a casino exist. Companies are already venturing into these uncharted waters, looking to add additional layers of interactivity and intensity by incorporating elements of fear and risk – those of which you might experience within a video game.

For example; a player engrossed in a live video slots game could be faced with the challenging choice of walking across a crumbling bridge placed over hot lava, in an attempt to double, triple or quadruple his or her winnings, instead of staying put and settling for what he or she has already won.

With live holographs and augmented realities just over the horizon, this new era of virtual reality is going to turn traditional gambling and Internet casinos on their heads. Check back here for updates, as designers and developers continue to update VR products and software, or read our 3D casino guide for a list of the 3D real money games available to play.