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The online casino gaming industry seemingly came out of nowhere in the late nineties and, to this point, it’s been a success on virtually every level. Operators are making money. Software developers are pushing the limits of what’s possible to create immersive experiences, and customers are having fun. From those general observations alone, it’s fair to say the advent of online casino gaming has been a triumph.


However, as we stand on the cusp of a virtual reality, the question industry insiders should be asking themselves is: how do we integrate our products into this new world? Mixed reality takes the virtual and overlays it with the physical to create a unique 3D, multisensory experience. That’s clearly something that could benefit the industry.


Can Mixed Reality Really Change Casino Gaming?


Tech Has Already Made Casinos More Engaging

Entertainment is the name of the game, so anything that increases how engaged players are is a positive. The seeds of this idea have already been planted. Take, for example, online roulette. Virtual games powered by random number generators (RNGs) are now flanked by live dealer games such as Paddy Power Live Roulette. These tables are housed in remote gaming studios and feature RFID technology. This setup, combined with webcams and virtual overlays, makes it possible for online players to connect with physical games.



This is the first step towards virtual or, potentially, mixed reality games. In fact, as per Microsoft’s definition, mixed reality is a “blend of physical and digital worlds”. Live dealer casino games fit that brief. What they don’t do, however, is “liberate us” from “screen-bound” experiences. That’s the next step. That’s where software developers can harness the power of mixed reality technology to, essentially, bring immersive experiences to whatever setting a player desires.


Games Wherever You Want Them

Can Mixed Reality Really Change Casino Gaming?



Roulette is an obvious example. Players could slip on a Microsoft HoloLens or Samsung HMD Odyssey+ and project a roulette table onto a dinner table. They could do the same for any other table game, including blackjack and baccarat. Then, for slots, a player could project the reels onto a wall and, literally, play anywhere they wanted. For all intents and purposes, casinos would become unbridled from their physical or virtual venues and be accessible in any location.


That raises the question, would this hamper the playing experience? Someone using a mixed reality device to play roulette on their dinner table might have fun, but will they be as engaged as if they were in a physical casino? The answer is probably not. There’s a certain feeling you get riffling casino chips among the buzz of a live casino floor. However, this could change as mixed reality software and hardware improves.



Another Step Towards Total Immersion

Just as live dealer casino games can be seen as step one in the move towards total immersion, mixed reality casino games will start off rudimentary. Then, once the foundations are set, developers can slowly integrate haptic feedback devices and 360-degree soundscapes to replicate the feel of a casino, as well as the look. That’s when the lines will be truly blurred. Whether or not mixed reality casinos will fully replace their physical counterparts is up for debate.


Online casinos didn’t, they simply became an accessible alternative. This suggests, at least in the short term, that mixed reality casinos would exist in harmony alongside their peers. But, over time, we could see this technology become a much bigger part of the casino industry and reshape the way we experience games of all kinds.


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