Although virtual reality has only recently dipped a toe in the gambling industry, it’s already compelling enough to make you divert your thoughts from common casino games, and plunge you into an entirely different world!
While some operators are endeavoring to distinguish their casinos by adding more games, others are directing their efforts toward creating a totally new gambling experience, called virtual reality (VR).
Virtual reality is a new mainstream technology in the gaming industry, and it’s already exploited by providers of casino games such as Pokerstars and SlotsMillion.
PokerStars VR: How Does It Work?
As an important project for its partnership with online casino developer Lucky VR, on September 20, 2018, Pokerstars introduced its virtual reality multiplayer no-limit hold’em game. The VR poker room, which enables everyone to take a deep dive into the settings of the futuristic Macau 2050 or a Monte Carlo yacht, is a reconciliation of gambling and entertainment. While playing hold’em poker, players are literally entitled to do some insane but amusing stuff like throwing food at each other, smoking a cigar, or even owning a pet donkey. Of course, none of these is real; but you can still play for real money while somebody is pointing a revolver or a water pistol at you!
It’s still pretty realistic though. With the help of a standard VR kit (headset, earphones and touch system), you’ll find yourself sitting at a poker table with the other players (who look like 3D cartoon characters) and chatting to them freely.
However, you can’t look into the eyes of the players nor observe their emotions, making the game devoid of the main essence of poker, which is bluffing.
PokerStars VR is available on platforms like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Steam.
Poker VR by Casino VR
Following almost a year of updating Casino VR Poker, the company announced in December 2017 the release of the “completely new game” Poker VR. Since then, this poker game has undergone several adjustments, one of the most conspicuous of these being the implementation of “mutated avatars.” This modification enables gamers to choose one of the eight animal avatars.
“Why be human when you can be a tiger, or a cat, or a monkey, or whatever floats your boat?” wrote Hamza Siddiqui, the Founder and CEO of Mega Particle (the social VR startup focusing on Poker VR).
Other features of Poker VR include tournaments, a ranking system, gifts, over 100 million wardrobe combinations to pick your desired style, and the option of changing environments.
The game is compatible with Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Go, and Rift.
VR Casinos: How First Attempts Influenced VR Gambling Market
RiftSino pioneered virtual reality gambling and might have served as the impetus for the launch of one of the “largest” Virtual Reality establishments – SlotsMillion Casino.
RiftSino emerged onto the gambling scene in June 2014 and managed to stay afloat for almost a year. The VR casino vanished from the gambling market, with the last tweet dating back to 31 July 2015. RiftSino reposted Sky New’s post: “How Virtual Reality is Changing Online Gambling.”
RiftSino website is now unavailable.
As for SlotsMillion, this website was first established as an online casino in 2014; and the year after that, it announced the launch of over 40 virtual reality slot machines designed for Oculus-operated devices. SlotsMillion VR renders real-life casino services, offering players the chance to select one of the available slots while they have a stroll along its gaming floor.
It’s worth noting that SlotsMillion haven’t implemented any additional Virtual Reality games to their website since 2015. In addition, there is not much information about the virtual casino on the part of its players, which suggests that virtual gambling has yet to become truly popular!
Kindred (Unibet) partnered with startup Lucky VR (May 17, 2017)