6 Reasons Why Virtual Reality Gambling is Still Failing


VR casino is often heralded as the next step in digital gambling. Yet we see little clout around it. Here we try to explore six of the biggest reasons why VR gambling is still not going big.

Virtual Reality still has not caught on in popularity

The first problem with marketing VR is its hardware gating. There is very little consumer interest in the product for two reasons that are related. One: VR companies will tend to target the gaming community only. Today, gaming has become a much more common activity, so as a demographic, it is not too specific. But nevertheless, that really leaves out a lot of people who might otherwise be interested. VR can do so much more than gaming. The second reason that follows is that VR simply doesn’t interest gamers. Video game graphics are reaching photorealism with every new generation of consoles. PC hardware has also become much more powerful in a matter of decades since VR became a thing.

VR brings something completely new to the table. But a simulation of reality depends a lot on the visual aspect. And at the current rate, the gaming demographic still thinks VR to be more trouble than it is worth. 

Online gambling games are still the most popular and convenient way

Gambling on the internet has been around for over two decades. And in this time, there has been rapid progress and growth for the online-only gambling industry. There are thousands of games out there, accessible to anyone with free registration to boot. But reiterating our last point, 2D gambling still works just fine. Just like the video games industry, people are content with playing the current form of digital slot games and poker. VR gambling still cannot market itself as the ultimate gambling form. 

The tech problem with Virtual Reality

Video games, as they are, gambling or otherwise, have matured well in technology. To speak the truth, there have been flop consoles and portable gaming platforms here and there. The biggest offenders are usually handhelds. Take, for example, PSVita. A promising product, but the sales tanked shortly after release. Yet other generally good consoles have simply gone defunct. But through thick and thin, gaming as an industry has made major strides in standards of graphics and production quality. The current generation of big consoles – PS5 and Xbox Series X, boasts huge improvements over their predecessors. And if you are not into all that, there is always your trusty PC. It is modular, and you can switch out parts if you want an upgrade at any point. Compared to that, VR is lagging far behind. Most of the VR games you see on the Steam storefront have little player traffic, and most are abandonware. Not to mention, general standards of graphics are just not up to par. 

Now, Valve’s last passion project, Half-Life: Alyx, dropped some jaws with its superb lighting, shaders, and details, but VR games are a lot more taxing on your hardware. They are much more resource-intensive than 2D screen gaming.

Few gambling sites offer Virtual Reality gambling experiences

The push for VR casinos became prominent in 2012, but not much happened then. The biggest milestone since then is probably in 2015. That is when SlotsMillions launched its flagship VR casino experience. Sadly, it is still the only paradigm for VR gambling five years later. To accompany it, there has been PokerStars’ online VR poker room. But that is still a beta early access stage. It is sad how little exploration there has been on the whole VR casino front. 

The number of games is generally low

Due to all the reasons cited elsewhere and more, VR games are simply not a flourishing industry at present. Very few companies put stakes into developing VR experiences, and the best we got (other than Half-Life: Alyx) are VR ports of already well-known games. 

Virtual Reality headsets are not trendy right now

Virtual reality first started out as an idea in the ’60s with Senosrama. They were at their peak craze in the ’80s. That is the reason you see them as a major theme in movies like Matrix or cyberpunk novels of the time. But this version has become an artifact of the past. VR, at its current stage, is much like Google Glass. It started as a stunning new piece of technology, but in the end, they were canned and pushed under the rug. 

These are just the big picture reasons, and there is a whole swath of bigger factors. Fortunately, Valve has made some great progress that runs counter to many of the usual complaints. That gives us hope that eventually, VR gambling will get at least as big as handheld gaming – if not bigger. 

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