By Maria Bashkevich, Uplatform

The Rise of The Metaverse. What should gambling industry expect?

Maria Bashkevich is Head of Marketing at Uplatform, a fast-growing and dynamic sports betting and casino operating platform. Having held Senior marketing positions at various gambling companies and working in different iGaming verticals, Maria has developed extensive experience and understanding of the industry. Her area of expertise is working in markets such as the CIS, LATAM, Europe, and Africa.

2022-04-19
Reading time 5:10 min

As extended realities like VR and AR gained momentum since the pandemic and the massive shift from offline to online, Maria Bashkevich, Head Of Marketing at Uplatform, delves into the key aspects and signs that poise metaverse casinos as the next big thing for the gambling industry. In this column, she provides recent data and examples showing that operators and providers are already exploring the potential applications of these technologies in the different gambling verticals, eyeing a potential multibillion-dollar market.

Where would we be without technology? It has changed the way we work, play, communicate, and more, while its influence has also transformed entire sectors, including the wonderful world of iGaming.

However, perhaps one of the most fascinating things about the tech world is how it never seems to sit still. Fresh innovations seem to emerge year after year, and, at present, all eyes are on a major development that is on its way. Yes, the metaverse is on its way, and it has the potential to completely revolutionize the game in iGaming and beyond.

Based on a collection of assumptions and hypotheses, the team at Uplatform analyzed the latest trends and technological innovations to formulate a possible metaverse scenario for gaming.

What is the metaverse?

When we talk about the metaverse, what exactly do we mean? It is a rather complex idea, but that has not stopped people from trying to define what it is or will be. Earlier this month, a report by Global Industry Analysts examined the area and provided its own description of the concept.

The organisation outlined how the metaverse is regarded as the internet’s future, with it revolving around an ecosystem involving mobile networks, social media, virtual and augmented reality, and other elements. Global Industry Analysts also stated that the worldwide metaverse market could reach $758.6 billion by 2026.

Interest in the concept is undoubtedly high and IZEA Worldwide recently examined how the issue is impacting social media influencers. It found that 70 percent believe the metaverse will replace social media, while it added that one of the top activities for those looking to get involved in the area is gambling. So, with that in mind, what could the future of iGaming look like as the metaverse develops?

Metaverse in iGaming

We cannot predict the future with certainty, but it is undoubtedly fun to speculate. For instance, how great would it be to wear a headset and experience an authentic casino experience modelled on renowned locations like Macao or Las Vegas? Even if you're sitting in your living room, the metaverse may be able to transport you away to the heart of the action.

I believe that casinos are set to benefit hugely from the exciting new immersive nature of the metaverse. It's expected to be a futuristic step beyond the experience towards what you might call super-real casino gaming. For a long time, the pinnacle of immersion was live dealer games, where players could sit in the comfort of their home and interact with other players and a dealer at a poker or blackjack table.

However, virtual reality technology has given new life to the idea of immersive gambling. VR and Metaverse gaming go beyond just social interaction with a dealer over chat communication by providing players with the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of a real casino. I'm expecting, that many of the casino games we know and love will remain the same in the Metaverse. Blackjack will still be blackjack, and roulette will still be roulette. These games might have additional features, and most of them will probably function on a Metaverse token or crypto payment system, but the fundamental games will remain the same.

A metaverse online casino could be designed to closely mirror gaming floors in integrated resorts in cities like Las Vegas and Macau or it could be completely different, perhaps with various options like underwater, space, or the Wild West.
On a similar note, this technology could have a massive bearing on the future of live casino experiences. These games have risen to prominence in recent years, but the metaverse could impact them in many ways. For example, it could introduce a new format of navigation, while it could even change deposits and betting.

The main difference between online casino gaming and metaverse casino gaming is that you will be much more physically involved in the metaverse. Donning your VR or AR headset is all that's needed to enter the virtual world, and from there, you'll be able to walk around and go wherever you want.

Imagine walking into an expensive-looking virtual casino, where a friendly host greets you and directs you to your favourite table. You take a seat, chat with the other players, and start playing for real money! Metaverse casino gaming is set to take live casino gameplay to a fascinating new level!

In addition, just imagine being able to watch the latest big sporting events in the metaverse. The technology could let you experience the best seats in the stadium or venue from the comfort of your own home. It could very well take betting to a whole new level, as you might be able to swipe through a wide array of options on side menus as the action unfolds in front of you.

The Metaverse has really sparked a fire under the seats of the gambling industry, though, and many providers are hard at work creating virtual and decentralized casinos. The concept of metaverse casino gaming represents a significant step into the future, something many of us have only ever dreamed of or seen in movies. Launching the endlessly popular online casino gaming industry in a virtually accessible world will mark the start of a new era of gamification. More elaborate and futuristic games and gambling opportunities will become the new norm.

A new era of VR

While all of that might be pure speculation, it is clear that augmented and virtual reality could have a big part to play in the metaverse. The latter has already had an impact in the iGaming world to some extent, as some organisations have taken the time to craft VR experiences in recent years.

For example, leading developer Evolution outlines how its Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt title offers the option to play in a virtual reality mode. However, the metaverse could really signal a new dawn for the technology, as it could become a crucial part of how we access iGaming and other experiences going forward.

Another element that could have an influence on iGaming’s future in the metaverse is the NFT. The concept of non-fungible tokens has become a real talking point in recent months and Bloomberg recently reported on estimates that suggest the market was worth around $40 billion in 2021. Finally, socialisation might also be a big part of iGaming in the metaverse, as it could change the way that players and dealers communicate. Wouldn’t it be fun to meet up with friends in a virtual casino and explore a range of games together? It is an interesting possibility that could well become a reality.

A new reality

So much of our speculation about the metaverse and iGaming might have sounded like science fiction a few years ago. However, with recent events like the pandemic highlighting how technology can bring people together and create fresh experiences, it suddenly feels closer than ever before.

Many organisations are already investigating what the metaverse could mean for them and how they could play a role in it, so an exciting future undoubtedly awaits. It will be fascinating to see how this all develops and we are keen to find out if some of our own predictions come to fruition.

Based in entire virtual worlds, like something out of a sci-fi movie, metaverse casinos look set to be the next big thing for the gambling industry, and they're already here and ready to be explored.

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