Almost everybody in the world has heard of Las Vegas. The famous strip lights, the stage shows, and of course the casinos.Sin City, Nevada is legendarily home to the most famous and notorious gambling scene on Earth. The casinos never close. The lights stay on all night. The bets are big, and the prizes are bigger. Gambling in Vegas is a multi-billion dollar industry. But could it also be on the way out?
For a long time, it looked like online casinos were one thing, and the real-life experience was entirely another. People do like to gamble from the comfort of their own homes, but nothing’s quite the same as that live “in person” experience. There’s something to be said for looking the dealer in the eye whilst you’re playing, or studying an opponent’s facial expressions in order to learn their ticks and their tells. Now, however, the tide may be turning.
Simply put, technology has moved on to the next level. You only have to take a look at one of the more sophisticated online casinos, for example, MoneyReels.com, to see the direction of the future. That website, and ones like it, have all the basic offering you’d expect from an online casino service. You can play roulette, poker, blackjack, baccarat and all the rest, but there’s a keyword in front of most of their offerings. “Live”. The premier online casinos now offer a truly live betting experience, and so long as you have an internet connection capable of dealing with the video images, you can take part. You’re no longer playing against the computer. The real croupier or dealer is there, live and in color, right in front of you. The human experience is back. The anonymity and loneliness that sometimes creeps in when you’re playing online are gone. That’s a real person, dealing with real cards, which you can see in real time. If you’re at the roulette wheel, that’s a real ball on a real wheel. It looks and feels authentic because it is. The dealer or croupier will even speak directly to you via microphone. To all intents and purposes, you’re there in every way but the smell and the touch.
How Immersive Is it?
That depends a little on which website you use, but betting companies have realized how popular this new play mode is becoming, and so they’ve acted accordingly. Some allow you to pick from a range of camera angles, so you can have your own preferred view of the action. If you’re the sort of person who likes to roam around real casinos, trying your hands at different tables, that’s an option too. If there are enough tables available, you can ‘sit down’ wherever you like and even choose your own real-life dealer. Having no luck with one? Just move right on to the next one!
Will It Get Even Better?
Given that Virtual Reality technologies are becoming more and more common in the home, we should expect so. Headsets like the Google Daydream are slowly becoming more accessible in price, and media outlets like the BBC are already adapting their programming especially for the device. Samsung, who has been in a technology arms race with Google for years, aren’t far behind with their Samsung Gear product. All that’s required to happen now is for a large casino to get on board with the idea and start working with somebody to produce a truly realistic VR casino. All the technology required to do it already exists. This isn’t just a possibility – this is guaranteed to happen, and probably within the next couple of years.
And then there’s the next step up from having a real life croupier or dealer. What about real life players to interact with? London’s famous Grosvenor Victoria casino already has one foot in the future. Earlier this year, they tried having online players ‘sat’ with real-life players around their tables, playing the same game in real time. The players at home were visible on webcams, and cameras at the table allowed them to see the players around them. The walls between physical and virtual are getting thinner all the time, and if that trial was deemed to be a success, they’re about to get even thinner again.
So Is This The End Of The Real Casinos?
There probably isn’t a reason for physical casinos to start planning for the end of days just yet. There’s still a lot of glamour in the idea of getting dressed up and heading into town for a big night at the casinos. It was even the focus of one of the more recent James Bond movies, and if James Bond still thinks you’re cool, chances are you’re still cool. Some people even go to a casino for a first date, which isn’t something you can yet do online – although don’t say that too loudly in case Tinder hear you.
There’s also cost to think about. Although VR technology is creeping into people’s homes, it’s still a long way from market saturation. A truly high-quality VR headset still costs in excess of £1,000, and chances are most gamblers would rather just hit the casino with that money than buying a headset to let them play in the casino from home! The whole reason we haven’t seen a casino firm pair up with a VR company just yet may well be that the potential market just isn’t big enough to justify it yet. Any firm investing in technology will want to see a return on that investment. Until there are more regular VR users, then the potential for that return just isn’t there.
In fact, it might not be the ‘brick and mortar’ casinos who become victims of the march of technology. It may instead be those old fashioned online casinos who don’t have access to the new ‘live’ ways to play and the coming virtual reality features. After all, if you could play with someone face to face for the same price you’re playing a soulless screen, why would you choose the soulless screen? The first victims of the coming battle between gambling methods will be those who can’t keep up with the pace of change, and that, by definition, will be the lower-tech online casinos.
Thanks for stopping by and reading our article today, and remember that whether you’re gambling on or off line, always be responsible, and always play for fun!
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