Virtual Reality Will Be the Next Big Thing in Gambling

  • Virtual reality expected to increase rapidly
  • Draws a comparison to the rise seen in sports betting
  • Main reason is the lower cost of the hardware
Young woman with VR headset
Lower prices for new technology such as VR is expected to drive growth in gambling-related sectors.

Making gains

While virtual reality is nothing new, new advances make it much more affordable, meaning that the industry becomes more accessible.

From armchair games to on-the-go mobile apps, VR is creeping into day-to-day gambling lifestyles. Who wouldn’t want to have a seat at the poker table, or watch that goal in real time? A new report puts the explosion in virtual reality at the heart of the growth in gambling.

While lotteries might be the largest segment when it comes to the gambling market, which is often segmented into casino, lotteries, sports betting, and others, that’s soon about to change.

In 2018, lotteries accumulated for 46.1% or $207.3bn (£163.2bn) but, with its growth in the US market, sports betting is expected to be the fastest growing segment. A new report shows that in the next 12 months alone, it’s expected to rise by 6.9%.

When you dig a little deeper into the casino market, you can understand why there is so much hype about VR. The market is segmented into offline, online, and virtual reality and the VR segment is expected to grow by 21.7% next year.

Why virtual reality?

Mainstream betting sites first launched in the 1990s and, while technology has advanced since then, the ability to play in real time has caused the biggest jump in sales. As bonuses and promotions evolved, the lower overheads allowed operators to invest, as can be seen in the lifelike graphics and gameplay features that are now regularly available.

Live dealer games now offer the most interaction and are generally a realistic experience. VR is no stranger to gambling, but the technology was previously too expensive. With the decreasing prices of VR headsets, operators are expected to expand their game ranges to include virtual reality.

Big in amusements

In 2018, gambling accounted for 87.9% the global amusements market which reached a whopping $511.3bn (£402.6bn) that year, amounting to a 4.5% compounded annual growth rate since 2014. It is predicted to expand by another 8.9% by 2022.

With the global gambling market now worth $449.3bn (£353.8bn), according to last year’s figures, operators will be looking ahead to make sure they know exactly how to entice customers. With plenty of operators getting into hot water over gambling advertisements, expanding their online offerings to include more virtual reality games could seem like a good investment based on these figures.