Wrestling down the conundrum of exciting versus addictive gambling
PGRI Intro: Online Gambling is exploding. According to the American Gaming Association, the revenue for 2021 was around $53B, almost 50% more than it was in 2020. How is the augmented and virtual reality worlds of metaverse transforming the entertainment factor of gambling, and will this drive a further acceleration in the growth of online gambling?
The following article is interesting or its reluctance to say what they want to say, which is that gaming in general, and online gambling in particular, and Metaverse online gambling in even more particular, is getting more and more exciting and engaging. That is good and deserves our full embrace, but it also requires more attention than before to guard against “addictive” and problem gambling …
May 5, 2022
The sector needs to be more conscious of the fact that the metaverse will bring a more “thrilling and sensory” experience to customers that could see these greater highs lead to greater lows.
Explaining the risks associated with the digital reality, Mark Robson, CEO at Eminence Holdings, who becomes the latest to take centre stage as part of CasinoBeats’ Heavy Meta series, sponsored by SBC Advisory, continued by stating that operators may witness longer engagement hours which could, potentially, lead to associated problems.
However, he stressed that we, as an industry, “can’t and won’t” ignore the aforementioned possibility and stated the sector needs to ensure it does everything in its power to leverage technology to be there for the customers and promote responsible gaming.
“THE POSSIBILITIES ARE LIMITLESS, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO ARE HOUSE-BOUND.”
“The metaverse will expose all people of all ages and philosophies to a more immediate way of thinking and accessing potentially new experiences,” he explained. “This could lead vulnerable people to have negative experiences. This will also need to be addressed.
“Having said that, let’s not forget the convenience and the vast opportunities that the metaverse will set in motion – inside and outside of gambling. The possibilities are limitless, especially for those who are house-bound.
“Even outside a time of lockdowns and restrictions, there is still the need to travel physically to get to a land-based casino. With the metaverse, you only need to log in or pop your headset on to travel to your casino. You can mix with people and play your favourite games even if your local land-based casino is closed. The metaverse opens many doors.”
Robson highlighted that the introduction of the metaverse will “blur the lines” between real life and cyberspace through virtual and augmented reality, resulting in easier onboarding, payments and slot aggregation, along with sportsbooks becoming “much more exciting”.
““THE METAVERSE WILL BLUR THE LINES BETWEEN IN REAL LIFE AND CYBERSPACE…”
“Traditional sports betting can already be done when you’re at the venue of the event taking place, but the metaverse will blur the lines between in real life and cyberspace through virtual and augmented reality,” Robson noted.
“From a business perspective, there will be far more opportunities to cross-promote, target your advertising and create a better winning feeling and more excitement for customers.”
Looking into the challenges of replicating the aura that comes with the land-based environment, Robson stressed that, whilst it is a challenge to bring the real world to the virtual, the industry has “history on its side”.
“Over the past decade, we know how popular online gambling has become (and continues to be). Online casinos cater for the gambler in us without the need for travelling to a casino,” the Eminence CEO commented.
“With virtual casinos in the metaverse, this will be taken to a whole new level. This includes experiencing all that one expects from a bricks and mortar Vegas-style casino, including the lobby, restaurants, bars, hotel rooms, as well as all the sights and sounds.
“The social aspect and the fun of a casino will be realised, and, as technology advances (with software and hardware), these experiences should only become more and more compelling.
“IT’S GOING TO BE A HUGELY EXCITING PERIOD OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS AS OPERATORS CREATE THEIR OWN CASINOS.”
“Yes, we’re only just starting out, but we know there is huge potential. There’s going to be lots of competition with every virtual casino vying to look and feel better than others. It’s going to be a hugely exciting period over the next couple of years as operators create their own casinos. After all, The Venetian and Caesars Palace both look different and have a different appeal.”
Delving into the topic of security and caution when it comes to the metaverse, and the potential need for ‘responsible meta gambling’, the Eminence CEO stated that the metaverse will be “all-encompassing”, and with that comes the opportunity for abuse from both the consumer and some operators.
He concluded: “Some virtual worlds will allow each and every individual onto their site, with exposure to ads and links to adult content, irrespective of age restrictions or geography. This is why it is imperative that there are strict regulations placed on each world and each casino in these worlds.
“In theory, this could be similar to the current procedure for online casinos whereby ID is verified, and IP checks/geo-filtering is used. I do think there will need to be some changes regarding AML procedures and responsible gaming guidelines to factor in the metaverse.
“For example, our CasinoCoin Wallet requires player verification procedures before anyone can gamble through the lobby and this will be extended to any virtual casinos we partner with.”
Online casino gaming enters a revolutionary stage in its development by branching off into metaverses
Atari’s dive into metaverse crypto casino gambling
Published: MAY 2, 2022 13:34
Online casino gaming is continuously evolving. But, over the past year, it has entered a revolutionary stage in its development by branching off into metaverses. These are virtual shared spaces where users can interact with others via avatars and conduct cryptocurrency transactions. Thus, the term cryptocurrency casino has now attained a whole new meaning, as people no longer gamble on traditional games of chance using only standard digital coins. They also bet utilizing unique fungible tokens in vast networks akin to open-world games.
In March of last year, Atari, the former video game behemoth, announced that they struck a lease agreement to build a metaverse casino inside the Vegas City district of the virtual shared space Decentraland. That is a platform that the Digital Currency Group, the parent company of CoinDesk, has an investment in and where multiple such gambling establishments exist. Atari's digital gambling venue accepts multiple fungible tokens for wagers, including Decentral Games, and marks a significant step forward for the gambling industry. Below, a short breakdown explains its ascension and how it affects this sector.
Atari’s Historical Relevance Explained
When someone says Atari, the first association that comes to mind is old school home gaming consoles, and with good reason, the company’s 2600 video game system. Released in 1977, the Atari 2600 popularized microprocessing-based hardware and helped make swappable ROM cartridges mainstream. By 1982, the Atari 2600 was the most dominant console around. Unfortunately, investing vast amounts of money into several licensed games for this system, such as E.T and Pac-Man, resulted in poorly converted copies that eroded consumer confidence and diminished the Atari brand. Their downfall got exacerbated by the 1983 video game crash when the industry went into a large-scale recession that lasted two years.
In 1984, Commodore International bought out Atari’s home computing division and created a new entity altogether named the Atari Corporation. Over the years, this company released multiple media entertainment systems, many of which underperformed, leading them to stop producing consoles after the failure of the Atari Jaguar. In 2001, the brand sought to re-invent itself by releasing gaming products and stepping back into console production. Today, they are making headlines with their crypto casino in Decentraland, trailblazing a new frontier in online gaming/gambling.
Crypto Casinos Defined
A crypto gambling site is an internet gaming platform that hosts traditional and novel games of chance and accepts bets made in digital money forms such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other established cryptos. They differ from standard fiat gambling sites in that they offer provably fair games and have promotions/site options specific for crypto casinos only. These include promos that give away free gaming funds through chat rain and free faucets, unavailable at any fiat online casino.
Metaverse gambling spots differ from a Bitcoin gambling site in that they allow users to enjoy a far more social wagering experience than what they can find on a website. They also feature innovative products that cannot get found at any land-based or internet gaming spot. That is due to the fact that they do not get burdened with having to fulfill any regulatory criteria and pretty much have free reign for now.
What are NFTs & Their Connection to Bitcoin Casino Gaming?
Everyone has likely heard of the acronym NFT by now. It refers to unique digital assets that are unreproducible. Nevertheless, people do not gamble using these non-fungible tokens at metaverse cryptocurrency casinos. There, they utilize fungible ones based on the ERC-20 standard (Ethereum). For example, in Atari’s metaverse locales, crypto gamblers can bet using the platform’s native token, MANA, the Decentral Games one, or the Atari Token. These work essentially like most popular cryptos and can get traded at the most renowned crypto exchanges.
The Atari token is also an ERC-20 token, created to become a reference for the interactive entertainment industry. It even features an Atari decentralized exchange, or Atari Dex, where holders can swap different pairs of tokens. It is a cryptocurrency asset with smart contract security and enables simple blockchain-based applications for games. Hence, it can also get used by other metaverse casino operators.
What Games Does the Atari Cryptocurrency Casino Offer?
It primarily sticks to supplying traditional table games and slots, like the ones that online gamblers can find at Bitcoin casinos. So, patrons can enjoy classics like roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and casino poker variants inside Atari’s Decentraland’s gaming venue. Everyone that visits this locale can test their luck by going up against ball-shaped robot dealers.
Expect to see Atari implement games of chance based on some of their famous arcade titles relatively soon.
The Virtual Real Estate Explosion
Yes, there is a virtual real estate boom taking place. For those out of the loop, metaverses feature enormous maps that users can traverse. These maps get divided into plots of land, which are NFTs. Parties interested in owning virtual land in any metaverse can attain some via an initial coin offering. Or at a primary/secondary marketplace. Landowners can purchase multiple plots and fuse them into an estate.
Most metaverses have dedicated districts where only specific buildings can get constructed. Or where distinct businesses can get run. Atari is looking to launch a virtual hotel to complement its announced future physical chain. Aside from the mentioned Vegas City gambling district in Decentraland, that platform also has a Fashion Street district.
Per a report from MetaMetric Solutions, virtual real estate sales on the top four metaverse platforms reached over $500 million in 2021, and expectations are now that they will grow at a rate of 31% per year until 2028. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect many new metaverse gambling establishments to pop up in the coming months. Consequently, these may be as common as the everyday Bitcoin casino in no time.
Are Metaverse Cryptocurrency Casinos a Worthwhile Investment?
Putting money into any new technology or trend is a risky endeavor. Atari dared to get in on the metaverse craze early, hoping to promote their existing catalog of gaming products and attain exposure through a new medium, opening the doors to potential new demographics. They also did not mind the free publicity that came with launching this virtual locale. Still, there is no promise that the NFT or metaverse sectors will bloom to the degree that many assume. Moreover, it is also a question of time when they will run into licensing and regulatory issues. That applies to metaverse crypto casinos and any other virtual business. So, one can say that Atari is rolling the dice by going all-in on the metaverse wave. Though, as the saying goes – you cannot win if you do not play. Life’s a gamble, and it is better to come in early than late.