International edition
September 22, 2021

By Ron Mendelson, Fast Offshore Founding Partner

The potential of augmented reality in online gambling

The potential of augmented reality in online gambling
The first cross-technology, multiplayer, AR casino platform was launched in July 2021. Developers said they have other games in the pipeline that will launch in due course. The platform will be available on iOS and Android.
Costa Rica | 08/11/2021

In his latest column, Roy Mendelson analyzes the perks of AR in the gambling world, as the demand for interactive gambling options and for technological advances increase after the COVID-19 pandemic. The igaming consultant explains how AR can be used in regular casino games and Live Dealer games in an integration that attracts players of all generations.

Ron Mendelson is the Director of Costa-Rica based International Business & Corporate Services consultancy firm, Fast Offshore. With ... (+ Info)

O

nline gambling is booming, and operators are constantly looking for new ways to remain competitive. This is due to increasing demands from players for tech-savvy and innovative games and gambling options. Simply having video-style gambling games on your site is no longer enough to keep people interested. As an operator, you need to be looking ahead at new technologies that will keep your players happy, keen, and interested.

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality is a digital world that is created with pixels. It resembles the real world in some ways but can also be altered and augmented so that it’s significantly enhanced. As well as creating images with pixels, it also uses sounds and other sensory stimuli, which are delivered digitally or via the use of technology. 

Some popular examples of AR technology include the Pokemon Go app. During the mid-2010s, the app had millions of users worldwide, and they could often be spotted in the streets, clasping their phones and hunting Pokemon. Another example is an app created by the European furniture brand IKEA. It allows users to place realistic 3D models of furniture into their homes through a smartphone camera and augmented reality.

AR apps have also been developed for a range of other uses. DoodleLens, Adobe Aero, GoogleLens, and various makeup and fashion apps. The technology has also found use in healthcare, real estate, and even education. But what about online gambling?

AR in online gambling

AR online gambling sites have been around for a while in some shape and form, but it’s only recently that the technology has really caught up with the concept. The first cross-technology, multiplayer, AR casino platform was launched in July 2021. 

As well as these technologies, it also incorporated virtual reality and mixed reality into games like roulette, blackjack, and slots. Due to launch later in August, developers said they have other games in the pipeline that will launch in due course. The platform will be available on iOS and Android as well as other operating systems. Like other proponents of AR technology, they hope to provide incentives and provoke interest from Generation X, Y, and Z players worldwide.

One of the key drivers of AR technology in gambling is that, unlike virtual reality, headsets or goggles are not necessary. AR technology can be enjoyed without the need for additional software, meaning it’s more accessible to more people.

But let’s look at the statistics. The Extended Reality market, which includes AR, is expected to exceed $125 billion per year by the end of 2026. Add in the fact that the global online gambling market will be worth $127 billion by the end of 2027, and you can see the two technologies together have serious potential.

AR and Live Dealer games

Augmented reality can be used in regular casino games. It can transport people to a virtual casino and allow them to interact with various features. But it really comes into its own during Live Dealer games. This vertical of online gambling is one of the fastest growing in recent years, particularly in the last 18 months.

As many land-based casinos remain closed, under restrictions, or have shut down completely, demand for interactive gambling options has increased. Live Dealer games are experiencing increased demand, but audiences are also demanding more technological advancement. AR in Live Dealer games can give players the interaction they want while also interacting with digital enhancements.

Just think of a scenario where your Live Dealers can be superimposed into your player's environment without them having to leave the studio. This could also be the case with other players, tables, and even cards and chips. It’s also possible to transport stats, bonuses, and various other in-game aspects.

The integration of AR into Live Dealer games and other technologies will increase interest in online gambling. It will also result in more time spent on site while increasing cross-selling ability.

What about licensing?

As a gambling operator mulling the potential of integrating augmented reality into your platform, you’re probably wondering whether additional licensing is required. The answer is NO. At the time of writing, there are no additional compliance obligations for online gambling operators who choose to use AR in their games. You will need your online gambling license and any other permissions as required by the jurisdiction you’re operating in, and you’re good to go.

AR, along with VR are here to stay. As time goes on, consumers will want more and more high-tech gambling games and providers that can offer them. Doing so will ensure you remain competitive against other names in the market and give you an edge over others. It will also give you an advantage as you will have adopted an emerging technology early on, thus making it easier for you to keep up with developments in the sector.

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