Online casinos are always on the lookout for an edge over their rivals, and this often comes with technological advances. The metaverse and increasing use of VR may represent the next step forward for betting online.
What are Metaverses?
The metaverse is often spoken of as a single thing, but there are already (and will be more) metaverses. These are shared online worlds, which incorporate aspects from days past (Second Life springs to mind), modern social media, and cryptocurrency. Shopping, fashion (for digital avatars), work, schoolwork, music, betting, and more will all be accessible via metaverses. Facebook got a lot of attention when it announced its rebranding to Meta, and recently its Horizon Worlds VR platform hit 300,000 customers.
Europe is one of the most pro-betting places in the world, and Poland is no exception to this fondness for a wager, whether it’s sports or casino betting. There are plenty of great online casinos that are friendly to Polish players and offer a compelling combination of fantastic promotions, tantalizing games, and slick navigation (plus great customer service). When VR gaming becomes more accessible, this will kick live dealer table games up a notch and make casinos more immersive than ever.
The usage of AR and VR (augmented and virtual reality) is a key aspect of metaverses and does set a metaverse apart from current and past efforts to create a secondary online world. The shift from 2D to 3D is inherently more immersive, and previously was not technologically feasible. It’s not yet possible to say whether this will prove to be a huge moment in the history of the internet or might yet end up falling short of the hype.
Online Casinos and Technology
Some types of business can be tardy when it comes to embracing new technology or adopting new ways of doing things, but the very opposite is true of the online casino industry. Since its birth in the 1990s, online casinos have seen several key technological milestones augment their offering. Not only this, but the sector is intensely competitive, which means every site is keen to outdo the competition, and getting left behind can be a quick route to failure. At the same time, stealing a march on one’s competitors can lead to a significant advantage.
The mobile revolution that brought the world smartphones in the early 2000s soon led to mobile gaming, and today every slot and table game in development is made to be compatible with both desktop and mobile devices. Improved streaming potential also added live dealer games and a real-world atmosphere to most sites, and many now support cryptocurrency for online payments. So with the metaverse bubbling up, it’s no surprise that casinos are already contemplating the implications and opportunities this might represent.
Metaverse Casino Potential
The first and most obvious implication for casinos is reworking games and navigational options to be compatible with VR technology, but this is only the tip of the metaverse iceberg. It’s to be expected that old classics like blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, and craps will be accessible, and software studios will be working hard to remake old games and incorporate VR integration into new offerings.
VR provides the potential for increasing the immersion of live dealer games substantially by making environments three-dimensional, but also (possibly) by allowing direct interaction (likely through avatars) with other players. This would be a major step forward in gaining the advantages of playing in the real world without the drawbacks (such as travel time, opening hours, and the possibility of catching COVID-19). It could also enable players to observe body language to ascertain when others are bluffing in poker and open up more social options.
Cryptocurrency is already the go-to payment system for metaverses and this is widely expected to continue as this approach to online activities expands. Given the digital focus (including avatars, virtual real estate, and even Walmart is looking at creating its own NFTs and cryptocurrency) it seems a natural fit. While increasing numbers of online casinos offer direct crypto support (and the vast majority offer it indirectly, as top e-wallets also facilitate crypto transactions) this would be a significant change by itself. The popularity of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) is considered likely to continue and to be incorporated into the metaverse casino experience.
Will the VR Player Base be Big Enough?
In the video gaming world, VR spent decades being the ‘next big thing’ before finally coming into mainstream use. That said, it remains a minority and the traditional non-VR gaming experience is under no threat of being overtaken by VR gaming. There’s certainly a lot of interest in driving forward the metaverse and, with it, VR, but this may come to co-exist alongside the current state of affairs rather than replacing the present type of online casino.
Metaverses are set to come in, but how popular they are and to what extent this will change the face of the internet and online gambling remains to be seen.