Emerging iGaming Ops Look to AR & VR Casino Technology
The online gambling industry has long been among the top contenders on a short list of the world’s most lucrative eCommerce businesses. Spearheading digital technologies since the mid-1990s, it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry with seemingly endless room to grow, thanks largely to the ongoing spread of regulatory awareness and favoritism. But breaking into such a highly competitive market is not so easy.
Experts are suggesting that emergent companies are looking to several factors to initial spur growth. One such factor is digital innovation. There’s one clear direction the iGaming industry has yet to successfully go, and that’s the burgeoning realms of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
These aren’t new concepts, mind you. VR casino games have been around for more than 5 years now. It’s the “successful” implementation, and more importantly, a willing adoption by players, that has yet to come to fruition. Considering the current state of society, however, the time may finally be upon us.
How Augmented & Virtual Reality Impact Us Now
Augmented and virtual reality tech has already made an impact on our lives. If you’ve used Google Maps, and especially its Street View capabilities, you used AR. Any fashion app that lets you virtually try on clothes, or a home décor app that places furnishing virtually into a 3D view of your home; these are AR/VR applications that use your mobile device’s camera to manipulate your environment.
One of the most popular implementations of AR is in gaming; in particular, the PokemonGo craze that began in 2016. Millions of people took to the streets, capturing fantastical creatures from the user’s actual geographic surroundings; with assistance from AR-ready Google Maps, of course.
Virtual reality is a bit different than its augmented cousin. VR is the more immersive version of reality-altering tech, typically requiring a headset to submerge users fully into the experience. Oculus VR, for example, gained a great deal of steam with the release of the Oculus Quest 2. It became a hot ticket item on December 2021 Christmas lists, and is a major catalyst in the VR movement as it moves ever-closer to “mainstream household” status.
It’s no big secret as to why these technologies that have been around for some years already, are finally catching on. We all knew it would happen, but early adoption was minimal, at best. The reason we’re finally seeing this great shift for AR/VR tech is simply because people were encouraged to stay home for so long, they didn’t just get used to doing things remotely, many grew to appreciate it.
Put all of this together, and it’s easy enough to understand why…
AR & VR Casino Tech Appeals to New Online Casinos
The primary goal of AR/VR application in gaming is clear – to enhance the user experience. Online casino start-ups are looking to integrate proven strategies. AR, for example, can lead players on a journey into the casino’s most prominent features; things like jackpots, bonuses and other promotions.
VR implementation would apply mostly to the actual casino gaming experience; from entering the casino and navigating the floor (gaudy carpets and all!), too choosing and playing the vast collection of games.
It won’t be a simple transition, by any means. AR/VR technology requires an abundance of resources, especially the monetary variety. The programming for such technology is intensive, and the software must be functional enough to run the programs smoothly. And as more casinos make that shift, no doubt the number of development companies serving the AR and VR casino technology industry will increase rapidly.
Other Key Drivers for New Online Gaming Brands
Innovative technology isn’t the only thing companies looking to break into the multi-billion-dollar iGaming industry need to focus on. Regulatory changes are another major factor helping to drive growth. Online casinos can’t simply accept players from all over the world. Some jurisdictions are open to it, and some are not. And of those that support a legal framework for gambling over the internet, abiding by the strict laws of each and eligible every territory is critical.
For example, despite its geographically compact size, the United Kingdom is among the world’s largest iGaming markets. To access this region, domestically or internationally, an iGaming operator must be licensed by the UKGC, which also happens to be among the strictest, most tax-laden iGaming jurisdictions in the world.
In the US, an operator must have a license from each state in which it intends to accept players. Conversely, here in Canada, licenses are not available on a commercial level. Only provincial gaming regulators can authorize and conduct online gambling. If it weren’t for international operators – which are neither authorized nor illegal – provinces would have a monopoly on iGaming all across the country.
With differential laws in every part of the world, regulatory compliance is imperative. Emerging online gambling operators must study and abide by geographic regulations, or suffer detrimental legal ramifications.
The Shift to AR/VR Digitization Rapidly Approaching
The transition to augmented and virtual reality, and a more digitized world in general, is closer than you might think. According to the so-called experts, companies that take the plunge will be driving user experiences with sustainable products operating in full swing by 2024. The impending shift is expected to transition 70% of global spending to technology-based commerce.
In a recent report, the International Data Corporation (IDC) highlights the crucial need for enterprises to pursue technological innovation in what’s rapidly becoming a “digital-first” society. In fact, it was listed #1 on the IDC’s Top 1- list of Worldwide IT Industry Predictions:
“Bringing Digital-First to Customers and Operations: By 2024, digital-first enterprises will enable empathetic customer experiences and resilient operating models by shifting 70% of all tech and services spending to as-a-service and outcomes-centric models. These investments will be needed to support diverse customer engagement and data-driven operations models.”
Other items topping the list include Cloud-based services and AI integration. The IDC predicts cloud resources will claim 40% of processes over IT organizations by 2023. At the same time, IDC predicts 80% of enterprises will utilize cloud-linked, AI-assisted services to govern to management, optimization and security of data and resources.
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Adalene Lucas: is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.