Land Casinos vs Virtual Reality Casinos
It's a brave new world we live in, and virtual reality is changing everything. Casinos won't escape the shakeup, and in fact, the online gambling industry is the tip of the VR spear.
We're going to look at what VR casinos are, how they're likely to evolve and develop in the next few years, and how VR casinos compare to brick-and-mortar casinos. By the end, you'll have a much better idea of which is best for you.
Let's begin with the basics. If you're new to VR casinos, we'll take a look at exactly what they are and how they work.
What Is a VR Casino?
If you're a little confused by the very concept of a virtual reality casino, don't worry, you're not alone. We're entering uncharted territory with VR, and it's natural to feel a little mind boggled by the whole thing.
VR casinos, in a nutshell, are purely digital casinos which feel real.Virtual Reality Casinos
These are virtual mini-worlds generated by a VR headset, which allow you to move around the VR casino, interact with dealers and players, and play various casino games, just as you would if you were on the floor of Caesars Palace in Vegas.
They work in the same way any virtual reality experience does. You slip on your headset, and it generates a 3D world which you can explore. If you use a data glove, it's even possible to feel tactile sensations in VR casinos.
Pretty amazing stuff, isn't it? The truth is, VR is only getting started!
If you're interested in following the progress of virtual reality to this point, check out our History of Virtual Reality page by clicking the button below.History of Virtual Reality
Comparing VR Casinos and Land-Based Casinos
The first casino to open on the Las Vegas strip was the El Rancho Vegas, way back in 1941. Ever since, Vegas has been the jewel in the crown of the casino world.
However, VR could shake Vegas (and elsewhere) up in a massive way. While we wouldn't go as far as saying it poses an existential threat to Sin City, it's certainly going to cause some casino owners a few sleepless nights.
As it develops and reaches its full potential, it's possible that you won't even need actually to go to Vegas or any other land-based casino in a physical sense!
With such exciting things on the horizon, it's natural to want to try VR casinos for yourself. Before making that decision, let's compare VR casinos to land-based ones, looking at both from various angles.
As far as actual mathematical probability goes, your chances of winning casino games are roughly the same in both VR and brick-and-mortar casinos.
Whether playing in a digitally generated world or a real-world establishment, a game of roulette is a game of roulette and the odds don't change that much.
Of course, they do change between variants (single zero versus double zero, for example), and the strategy you use, but whether you're playing in virtual reality or actual reality makes little difference.
One thing which could slightly improve your chances of winning at online VR casinos is the bonuses offered. Free spins on VR slots and deposit bonuses, for example, are widely available online. Unless you're a high-roller, a real-world casino is unlikely to comp you anything.
That said, each bonus comes with its own terms and conditions, and it's up to you to decide whether it actually helps or hinders you.
Human beings are social animals, and part of the fun of going to a casino is the chance to interact with other players and dealers.
Yet, VR is not a lonesome experience, either. As things have progressed, it's now possible to interact with other players' avatars within the VR casino. Dealers will also have avatars, and you can interact with them like you would when playing live casino games.
These simulated social interactions trigger the same chemicals in the brain as actual real-life scenarios. A rush of blood to the head when a hot avatar walks past, or a mutual grin when a winning streak occurs feel real to the brain, which interprets them the same.
Yet, there are definite limitations to the VR social experience. In a real-world casino, you can shake hands, high five, hug, enjoy drinks together, and maybe head to a club or after party with the people you meet there.
There's no denying it - real casinos win the social value point. For now, at least!
This is a tricky question to answer because it depends on a variety of factors such as how close you live to a brick-and-mortar casino.
It's probably best to outline the main costs associated with both, and you can decide for yourself which apply to you.
When playing at real-world casinos, costs include travel to and from the venue, food and drinks, the cost of playing the games themselves, and possibly hotel rooms (if on vacation). The minimum buy ins for table games is likely to be slightly higher, too.
The costs associated with playing at VR casinos include the initial headset price, a data glove (optional), and the cost of playing the games.
Since decent VR headsets can now be bought for as little as $100, we would say the cost of playing at real-world casinos is likely to be more.
Land casinos are by far the more popular, for now.
In 2017 alone, over 39 million people visited Las Vegas, and we're willing to bet a substantial percentage of them visited and played in a casino. Also keep in mind that while Vegas is casino mecca, the number of casinos there is a drop in the bucket when you consider the whole world.
VR casinos are springing up all over the web, and the number of online casino players is increasing year by year. As the experience gets better (more life-like) the demand for VR casino experiences will grow, and once a tipping point is reached, there's no telling how big virtual reality casinos could become.
There will always be some advantages to visiting a real casino, such as eating delicious food and enjoying real-life shows and entertainment, but as VR technology develops, that gap is going to begin closing.
Let's revisit this question again 10 years from now and see what's up!
Ask 20 people what "fun" means, and you'll get 20 different answers. Whether VR casinos or real ones are more fun depends entirely on one thing...you!
One the one hand, VR casinos can offer endless game variants (usually many more slots than real casinos can offer, for example), the convenience of slipping on a headset and playing in the comfort of your own home, and the chance for shyer, more introverted players to interact in a way they feel comfortable with.
On the other hand, land-based casinos offer tasty food, alcoholic beverages, most offer some form of entertainment such as a band, and there's the chance to meet other real people and enjoy all the other scenarios which may unfold from your interactions with them.
Both VR and land-based casinos are fun in their own ways. We'll leave it to you to decide which is more fun.
That's a good question, and the answer is, both have some risks, and they are completely different.
You'll be happy to know that the chances of being held up in robbery in a real-world casino are pretty slim. While such instances have occurred, they are extremely rare. Your chances of being held up in a virtual reality casino, however, are zero.
Where money is involved, a few aggressive outbursts and fights are inevitable. The odd highly-strung player does kick off at a real-world casino after losing, but the danger to other players are minimal. Take a look at the security team the next time you enter such an establishment. Very few dare to mess with those guys.
With regards to theft, the risks in both instances are slim, as long as you play at reputable casinos. The best VR casinos operate on secure, encrypted connections and take data security seriously. The best real-world casinos have world-class security operations, so the only real danger is if you leave the joint with a 6-figure sum of cash in a briefcase.
Deciding Which is Best for You
Remember, most of the points listed above have a subjective quality to them and depend on you as a person and your individual preferences. It's impossible to put an objective spin on "fun," for example.
You'll need to consider:
- What sorts of games you want to play, and which offers the best variety
- What your budget is, and which offers you the most bang for your buck
- Whether you are willing to invest in a solid VR headset if you decide to go that route
- Whether you want to meet real people or are more comfortable interacting online
- What you're looking for from the overall experience. Do you just want to play games, or do you want to eat, drink, and be entertained, as well?
- Which is safer, from your own perspective of risk
- Whether or not you're going to spend enough to get perks from a real casino, or whether an online VR casino is more likely to give you a bonus
Answer whether a real-world casino or VR casino suits you best for each of the points above, then add up your total number of answers for each. This will tell you which type of casino is best for you.
VR casinos still have a long way to go before they catch up with the overall experience of real-world casinos, but there are already some ways in which they have the competitive edge.
While you can't eat a real steak dinner in a 5-star restaurant at a VR casino, you can sit on your own sofa, without having to move an inch, and enjoy an equally immersive experience.
Ultimately, there are pros and cons to both. Hopefully, this has been an insightful read and you now have a better idea as to which type of casino you should choose.
Either way, best of luck. May the gods of odds have you in their favor!
Frequently Asked Questions
See the Virtual Reality Casinos button above? Whichever casino is in the top spot on that page is the one we favor, currently. We constantly review and update our VR casino rankings. You can read in-depth reviews of each one before making a decision.
Things are developing quickly, and the experience is getting more and more refined, extremely quickly. You can even experience the sensation of touch in VR casinos if you use a data glove. However, you'll still know you're in a VR casino. Reality still has the edge, for now!
The nature of virtual reality itself imposes some limitations. For example, you can't taste or smell anything. The other senses, including vision, hearing, and touch, are all engaged, though.
Even still, the sensation of shaking hands with an attractive fellow casino player just isn't quite the same when interacting with avatars rather than real people.
Lastly, there are some functions such as cashing out your chips which can't yet be done in VR casinos. You'll have to go back to the main casino website to do those things, whereas you can just cash in and walk out of a real casino.
No, they're not dangerous. The worst that can happen is you might feel a little sick if you play for hours on end, just like if you stare at any screen without regular breaks.
As for the addiction question, there is likely some extra risk. Since VR casinos are so immersive and fun, you'll need to gamble responsibly by setting account limits, scheduling regular "reality checks," and never depositing more money to chase losses.
All you really need is a decent VR headset and an account at a VR casino. As long as your computer has good enough specs, you're ready to go. Experience enhancers like data gloves are entirely optional.