Technological advances, consumer expectations and industry innovation will be among the main drivers behind a huge rise in virtual reality gambling over the next four years, according to a new survey.
Analyst firm Technavio’s Global VR Gambling Market 2018-2022 predicts that the VR gambling market will register a compound annual growth rate of close to 55 per cent by 2022. Incremental growth will be $360m (€308m) between 2017 and 2022.
Technavio believes that while operators such as 888 and William Hill have embraced some VR gambling services, gamers remain “uncertain” and “are yet to adopt [VR gambling] on a wide scale”.
However, it expects this to change over the next few years, as operators in the industry embrace new technology, and VR will be increasingly important for both online and land-based gambling companies.
A Technavio spokesperson told iGamingBusiness.com: “With the addition of gamification in programmes for games, both brick-and-mortar and online casinos are trying to make conventional formats for gambling more appealing to millennials.
“Casinos are adopting VR technology, in which players can compete with each other for cash prizes in spirited VR tournaments. One such example is the introduction of ‘Virtual Zone’ by Boyd Gaming, in partnership with HTC and IGT.”
Technavio believes that mature markets such as the UK will lead the way, pointing to SlotsMillion launching the country’s first 3D VR casino after owner ALEA was licensed. It added that technological uptake could mean other markets also prove significant, with “rapid pace” expected in China due to it being the largest consumer base for VR headsets.
Interestingly, Technavio claims that in compiling its report it found evidence that VR can be a cure for gambling addiction. It told iGamingBusiness.com: “There are cases where therapists are authorised to provide gambling addicts with a VR environment, catering to the latter’s needs.”
Last week ALEA, operator of SlotsMillion, which it claims to be the world’s only 3D VR online casino, and UK brand LadyLucks, closed a deal with Greentube adding more than 50 slots to its portfolio.