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Online Virtual Casinos: Todays Possibilities – Tomorrows Opportunities

1 August 2016 Written by: Doug

The occurrence of online casinos and its effects on gambling has encouraged several studies and researchers have explored various areas including profiles of online gamblers versus punters visiting traditional land-based casinos as well as the relation between traditional and online gambling. To gain a true grasp of the virtualization of online gambling in the global market, it requires one to look back at the long history of games of chance.

The History of Casinos

In Europe the first registered casino was in the 17th century, it took another century before more casinos appeared in America. Initially, the development of games of chance and casinos followed the societal life development, which changed to a great extent in the last century as now it follows technology. Betting over the telephone was the first true revolution and computer technology brought games of chance into every household. Inexpensive mass use of the Internet and easy access to technology and the media changed the general manner of thinking. Its widespread advantages not only enabled global communication but also became a tool for merchants, resulting in phenomena called the virtual market; studies suggest that the trend of consumption increased by 30% annually. Based on the American market it took 7 years for the Internet to enter 30% of households, (Schaffer 2004) electricity 46 years, telephone 38 years. The emerging future is twice as good and life spans are expected to develop into continuums and charts shows the exponential rates of technological advancement that gives us a future that will be creative and smart beyond our wildest dreams. By 2040 the pace of improvement will be so rapid that human will only be able to keep up via virtual assistance, evolution will come in the form of intelligent machines with the ability to improve and evolve its own software according to its won interests.

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The gambling industry employed the rapidly growing global market about ten years ago when it started offering services in virtual space. The very first online casino was registered in August 1995, Interactive Casino provided access to 18 different games and the National Indian Lottery. (Janower 1996; Subhajit 2006; Lipton 2002; Karadbil 2000). By May 1998, ninety online casinos were registered, 53 sports books and 8 online bingo sites, only one year later it increased to 139 sports books, 64 lotteries, 20 bingo sites and 250 online casinos. (Wood and Williams 2007). The rapid growth is even more visible in studies revealing that between 2000 and 2002, (Eadington 2004; Sinclair et al. 2002; Unites States General Account- ing Office 2002), there were between 1499 up to 1801 active online gambling sites. (Clark 2005; Ranade et al. 2006) By 2006 there were approximately 2,500 sites in operation, in more recent years the rapid growth tapered off due to big companies acquiring smaller sites. Online casinos are regulated by eighty-five jurisdictions globally although most are clustered in a few locations with the majority located in Antigua and off-shore from North America. (Stewart 2006; Ranada et al. 2006)

The comparison of traditional gambling and online gambling shows significant differences. An obvious similarity is the selection of games including slot machines, poker, blackjack and roulette in which traditional casino games are mimicked by unique online visual high-quality graphics and sound effects. Online gamblers basically only need computers and access to the internet. Games can be enjoyed for money or free and deciding to play for money, requires opening an online account and entering personal information. The characteristics of online casinos measured against traditional gambling at a land-based casino show several differences plus points out the many advantages of online gambling.

How Online Casinos Can Impact VR

Online casinos offer multiple languages whereas traditional casino operates in one language. Online casinos accept various currencies, and land-based casinos provide games using one currency. Different cards are accepted online plus a wide variety of other payment options are available while traditional casinos only accept cash or a limited number of cards. Gambling from home requires no dress code while there are regulations and players dressed inappropriately won’t be allowed to enter land-based casinos. Free gaming is a very possible at online casinos and is one of the main bonus offers used in attracting new members while with traditional casinos the possibility is rather faint. When it comes to gaming variety traditional casino’s limited choices of games simply can’t measure up against the astoundingly vast online collections, and when it comes to cost, online gamblers only have internet costs while visiting traditional casinos include meal cost, transport and often accommodation.

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Focusing on player benefits at online casinos include assistance via telephone, fax, email and live chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all 365 days of the year. Complete privacy is enjoyed at home, and fewer disturbances interfere with you relaxing time allowing punters to enjoy the HD graphics, 3D animations, and sound effects, plus there is no competitive atmosphere allowing complete relaxation. The most important factor is that online games offer a much higher return to player percentage due to the considerably lower expenses of running an online casino.

It is not a secret that online casinos are indeed competitors to land-based casinos, traditional casinos face the challenge of overcoming the virtualization of gambling, and the only options are to create an online casino of their own or to transform online gamblers to traditional punters on weekends. Online casinos are expanding by utilizing technology to overcome the desire of players to socialize by creating interactive links between online gamblers. Live dealer games already offer an authentic gaming atmosphere allowing players to communicate with fellow players and real live croupiers. Online casinos of the future will invest in further development that links players in virtual space to offer the same kind of socializing as experienced in traditional casinos.

Software developer Microgaming has been engaged in developing virtual reality based games, their in-house outfit called Crylab showcased virtual reality at the ICE2016 Gaming Show. The Crylab engine is named after and was first used in a futuristic first-person shooter game called Crysis and has been under continual development ever since and still represents the pinnacle of VR.

Virtual reality casino is already fully functional at one online casino and possible via using the Oculus Rift DK2 as well as Leap Motion 3D Controllers. The adoption of virtual reality has rocketed in the last year, and users are forecast to reach 171 million by 2018. Virtual reality headsets sales were recorded at $685 million in 2015 and are estimated to reach $3.89 billion in 2018.

What is to Come in the Future for Online Casinos

Virtual reality is the hook that online and mobile casinos need to attract more millennial, the recent success achieved by the Fitbit and Apple Watch clearly demonstrates that the younger generation is enthusiastic about engaging virtually. Virtual reality technology has the ability to transport players to exciting locations for the ultimate gambling experience such as Las Vegas, or the poker table made famous by the James Bond movie, Casino Royale. Virtual Reality will undoubtedly mark the development of the century and for online gamblers, it is time to position themselves comfortably, wear their headset and get ready to meet their friends at any destination of their choice for the best online gambling experience ever.

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