Long gone are the days that saw men and women in sunglasses surrounding a green felted table, smoking cigars and throwing chips into the pot to gamble. Of course, you can still visit a casino if this is your scene but it seems many have re-located to online casinos to get their gambling fixes.
Does this spell the end for casinos ? Is Las Vegas all but finished? Not quite, there will always be a Las Vegas no matter what happens but what about other casinos that aren’t based in the Neon haze? They will no doubt be suffering thanks to the advent of the online casino and the resources made readily available such as this Spin Palace review for an example. This could have massive implications moving forward.
Some casinos have already reacted and introduced online games in their establishments or hotels but this is only the beginning. The online experience of Poker or Blackjack has been criticised for itself lack of realism – it’s impossible to read an opponent online thanks to a screen and probably thousands of miles separating you from them. The answer is simple – Virtual Reality.
Brought forward as the future of gaming altogether by console giants Sony, Virtual Reality is fast becoming less science fiction and more science fact. Totally immersive games will hit the market as early as the next generation of games consoles and the casinos are now looking to capitalise on this innovation.
The concept of donning a Virtual Reality headset to access a digital casino is utterly brilliant but it isn’t going to be nearly as accessible as many may hope. The technology will be expensive and there is a distinct removal of the human element – human croupiers are still considered far superior to mechanical or digital dealers.
Online Bingo has also drawn criticism for its lack of human input – many players enjoy the chat room experience but it somehow feels hollow and there’s a lack of realism. The digital age may bring the casino, or bingo hall, to your own home but it just isn’t the same. Automated callers have crept into some land based bingo halls but they actually add to the experience – it makes for a more intense game and requires greater concentration.
So is this the next evolutionary step for the casinos? Robotic croupiers would guarantee a thorough shuffle of cards or alternating turns of a roulette wheel but you can’t help but feel it would be a step in the wrong direction. Technological aids in casinos are no bad thing, automated chip counters etc but to take away the human element of many beloved casino games would be a mistake.
Imagine the James Bond film Casino Royale with machines instead of humans – suddenly it all becomes a bit far-fetched and quite an unpleasant image. If this is the plan, surely more players will question what lies ahead for Poker and may even move their interest to the online casino market as it would be essentially the same thing.
We have moved on from the stuffy room with a felted table but there will always be those who prefer that environment. Casinos can continue to evolve as technology allows but Virtual Reality and robots may be a step too far – there is a lack of trust in computers at present and the odds need to remain chance instead of potentially pre-programmed.