How many times has a casino site promised a “truly 3D experience” and then gone on to give us something that looks like a 10-year-old first person shooter? That’s not to say 3D betting sites have done anything wrong. After all, the technology to even make virtual reality gambling happen hasn’t even been available until now.
The Occulus Rift ships next week and will be accompanied with 30 games ready to go on launch day. One gambling website has moved quickly to take advantage of the new technology and with an actual virtual reality casino that will be fully compatible with the Occulus.
One of the big questions facing the gambling industry is figuring out how to attract a younger clientele. Many of the games you see at any regular casino have remained relatively unchanged for decades. These are the same types of games your grandparents grew up on.
Something needs to change if casinos hope to compete with the ever-expanding array of gaming options available to millenials these days. On the internet, that means competing with Angry Birds, Call of Duty, Clash of Clans and countless other social games, eSports and casual games. Online casinos have experimented with social gaming via the likes of Facebook to limited success.
Even in Las Vegas, the casinos are working to attract younger players who prefer the social and competitive aspects of modern gaming. As VRScout.com notes, Nevada recently changed its laws to allow variable payout slots. These rules now give brick-and-mortar casinos the ability to offer real money games that emphasize the social and competitive aspects – think beating levels and unlocking power-ups.
Virtual reality gambling represents a big step in that direction. Imagine virtual lobbies where you can meet your friends face-to-face and games that put you right in the middle of the action. At least one online casino is planning on offering just such an experience.
Slots Million is the first betting site of any type to take the VR plunge. They already have a PC-compatible version that works like a standard online casino, but they also have an option for anyone with the Occulus hardware.
The standard Slots Million website hosts more than a thousand slot games, but the actual Occulus version will launch with just 40 of the most popular titles. Even so, it will prove to be an interesting and unique experience. As a player, you’ll be able to explore the casino in true 360-degree fashion. You may even run into other real players while inside.
What we’ve heard about the new casino sounds promising indeed. In this casino, the setting will be on the 80th floor of a skyscraper with views of a futuristic city. The casino itself will feature a fusion of old-fashioned and futuristic décor. You can chat with your buddies at the bar, look down at the streets below or test your luck at dozens of virtual games.
When you choose a game, it will display on a massive, high-definition screen right inside the lobby. You’ll be able to turn your head and look around even as you play. The Slots Million design team has already spent a year developing the betting software, building the lobby and porting popular games over to the VR format.
The makers also explain that you will be able to meet and chat with your friends in the VR environment. Customer support agents will actually hang out inside the casino and be available for questions and assistance. Venture Beat reported that Malta, the casino’s licensing jurisdiction, even insisted that the virtual reality casino display working clocks on the wall so players don’t lose track of time.
Everything Slots Millions is doing right now indicates plenty of potential even if this first iteration of virtual reality gambling ends up being a little rough around the edges. Just imagine what the experience will be like with live dealer games. This is literally the first step into a whole new world.
Finally, we have an actual virtual reality casino site with real money games. No one else in the industry has ever tried this before. We’ve had other casinos and certain poker sites offer a first-person point of view, but none has ever given us the full VR experience. Whether or not Slots Million catches on, we can now say virtual reality gambling is a real thing.
Wes Burns has more than a decade’s worth of experience as a writer, researcher, and analyst in the legal online betting industry and is co-founder of OnlineBettingSites.com. Wes approaches his work from the viewpoint of players.