The metaverse has been a buzz word in the technology media for a while now, but just what is it, and will online casinos get swept along on the hype train?
Defining the Metaverse
The metaverse (or metaverses, to be more accurate) involves shared online worlds for users. But unlike pre-existing worlds of this nature (either the general internet itself or environments like World of Warcraft or Second Life) there’s a heavy emphasis on VR and AR (virtual/augmented reality). While this focus has been diluted somewhat lately, as Meta has discovered that a VR requirement is one way to instantly diminish a potential userbase so that access by mobile apps and desktop browsers is possible, the vision for the future pushed forward is primarily one of VR, and perhaps AR.
Another key difference between the metaverse and the ‘normal’ internet is that the metaverse will have NFTs and cryptocurrency as a financial mainstay. Already some firms have been investing millions in NFTs for virtual real estate and wearables (such as trainers). It remains to be seen how well this will work given a general decline in recent NFT activity and a pretty ardent pushback against NFTs in the world of e-gaming.
Current Online Casinos
Today’s online casinos have always been quick to grasp new technological opportunities. This was true with the pioneering betting sites of decades ago, and again when the mobile revolution meant that gaming on the go became a genuine possibility. The overall success of metaverse casinos may well be tied up with the success or failure of the metaverse itself, but even if it proves a false dawn there’s an abundance of great online casinos already on the internet. This can make it tough to find the right place to play, so save yourself hours of trawling the internet by quickly checking this list to find the leading online casinos available in Europe. This makes it easy and swift to determine which is best for you, based on bonuses, banking methods, and what games are on offer.
Given how successful online casinos have been so far it’s not surprising many are keeping an eager eye on the metaverse and some have already created betting platforms within it. There are some substantial differences between a regular online casino and one within the metaverse. However, in the mainstream, cryptocurrency is one of the various banking methods available and is less commonly available than Visa, Mastercard, or leading e-wallets such as PayPal, ecoPayz, Skrill, and Neteller. Within the metaverse, however, cryptocurrency (via NFTs) are the way to pay.
But it goes deeper than just a change in the banking system. NFTs may be used to participate in specific casino games or could be wearables for an avatar that also function as a recharging ticket to play in a casino, with a certain funding per day and the sum resetting every 24 hours. Or casinos within the metaverse may prefer to keep things simple and just have crypto used in the same way fiat currency is at regular online casinos.
Can the Metaverse Live up to the Hype?
With the likes of Facebook, now Meta, bigging up the idea of the metaverse no end (even to the extent of an accompanying name change) and major companies like Walmart and Nike buying into it, there’s a lot of hype surrounding the metaverse. But will this end up being a new evolution in the internet, or is it simply a pipedream that businesses love but consumers will shun?
One reason to be bullish about the metaverse’s prospects is the strong growth predictions for VR and AR. While not necessarily essential, this tech is seen as being one of the main features of the metaverse and the more people adopt it the bigger the user base becomes. It’s worth noting the metaverse remains in its earliest days, so it’s too early to call either way, but one of the major hurdles has been cleared already. This is entering the public consciousness, with many people now aware of the metaverse and the basics it involves.
However, there are still some obstacles that could yet derail the metaverse, or see it develop but in a more niche way than its advocates would hope. Many activities planned for it (shopping, socializing) already occur just fine in the regular internet and real world, which may lead many casual users to wonder if they need another way of buying stuff or chatting to people. In addition, the use of NFTs has raised the ire of the video gaming community and it remains to be seen what the appetite for this will be in the metaverse among the general public.
Crypto, VR, and Casinos in the Metaverse
One of the best areas of overlapping interest between the metaverse and online casinos is exploring the possibilities of VR technology. Just as certain video games (driving/piloting especially) are well-suited to a VR headset, so are casino games. This is particularly the case for table games, which have already undergone one successful technological update with live dealer tables. Combine this with VR technology and it’s a natural fit for casinos both within the metaverse and the internet generally.
While NFTs do not usually form part of online casinos, many do offer support for cryptocurrencies, which are the means of buying and selling non-fungible tokens, so this is a small gap to bridge on the casino side. In addition, online casinos have always been keen to integrate new technologies, from mobile gaming via tablets and smartphones to the aforementioned streaming possibilities that led to live dealer tables.
There is some positive news on the NFT side, though, with one poll by Globant finding 34% of PC, console, and mobile gamers interested in crypto transactions in the metaverse. Given the opprobrium aimed at NFTs and crypto by many in the gaming world, this is surprisingly high and may bode well for the metaverse’s prospects.
Online casinos are among the most enthusiastic businesses when it comes to new technology, and there are already some metaverse casinos. Whether they prove successful or not is almost certainly going to be a reflection of whether the metaverse is embraced by consumers, or ends up fading away.