Metaverse, VR, and online gambling: what is the future for sports betting and iGaming?

In Brief

The metaverse will impact the online gambling industry as it allows gamblers and betters to interact with each other in new and exciting ways.

At the SBC Summit in Barcelona, Metaverse Post interviewed XRBet, a VR and AR startup that aims to bring betting operators to the virtual world.

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metaverse online gambling

Online gambling has been taking over traditional gambling since the late 90s when the internet became mainstream. As we are now entering the metaverse era, what will be the next step for virtual poker, casinos, and sports betting?

The metaverse industry has grown significantly over the past few years, and it offers opportunities for iGaming companies looking to expand into this new market segment. The future of the metaverse looks bright for online gambling and sports betting as more people get their hands on the technology and start playing games in this new digital world. Online casinos are already developing technology that will allow players to bet in the metaverse—meaning you could go online and place bets for the 2022 World Cup.

Blockchain and immersive technologies enrich the experience of online bettors. Metaverse gambling can be accessible through VR headsets, where players engage with each other, gamble, and chat in a 3D virtual world. Interactive entertainment is more appealing as it can provide a fantasy-like setting for the game, for instance, a virtual version of the casino city of Las Vegas. We can see metaverse casinos as either an extension of online casinos and betting platforms or an advanced and immersive replacement for them.

XRBet — pioneers in bringing online gambling to the metaverse

At the SBC Summit in Barcelona, Metaverse Post met the founders of XRBet, an AR/VR-focused startup that specializes in next-generation immersive experiences for the iGaming industry. Henny Zijlstra, Carlos Neidl, and Ferid Ben spoke about the future of online gambling and the immense potential of the metaverse. XRBet offers a blueprint for gambling operators and plans to launch commercially in Q1 2024.

“We believe the metaverse is coming; it’s just a matter of time when it will come. We are ready to help the gaming industry move into the metaverse with our concepts in VR and AR,”

Zijlstra said.

Online betting and iGaming are lacking innovation and new experiences. If you see the evolution of devices and how you connect to VR and AR technologies, you know the last five or six years have shown much improvement, the XRBet team emphasized. Even Facebook’s rebranding to Meta encouraged people to learn more about the metaverse.

The team also said they are waiting for Apple to drop its headsets, as it’s going to be a significant improvement to the current headsets.

“Finally, taking blockchain, cryptocurrency, and all the other fancy buzzwords mainstream gave us the proof that we’ve been on the right track for three years,”

Ben said.

XRBet is testing out different blockchains. However, Polygon, from the tech perspective, has the biggest opportunity in the future because it can combine different blockchains. Ben explained, “So you don’t have to focus on one scale, but cross-develop different technologies and build a system upon an immersive XR scalable solution.”

The founders of XRBet: Carlos Neidl, Henny Zijlstra, and Ferid Ben

There’s still much to be done 

Since the metaverse is still in its early stages, many challenges have to be overcome before the technology can become the top option for online gambling companies. Yet, if these challenges are conquered, then we could see an explosion in the popularity of this emerging technology as more people start using it regularly for both personal and business purposes.

Ben spoke about the endless experiential possibilities of the metaverse:

“We can create an experience depending on the customer’s desires. I once asked a customer, what are your hobbies? What do you like? They told me, “I like Jurassic Park; I love to hike in the jungle.” We then created a slot experience where we put the customer into the jungle, with dinosaurs in the background. So they’re actually in the jungle, they hear all the wildlife sounds, and at the same time, they play their favorite slot games. I mean, how awesome is that?”

The biggest opportunity XRBet sees is that the user won’t be a consumer but will live the experience. XRBet said they want customers to feel that they don’t only need to deposit money and win or lose money but also invest, for example. So they come back not just to gamble, but also to be involved in different tournaments and other activities.

Zijlstra assured us that the metaverse is designed to last, and those who don’t adopt it will be left behind:

“Now, the moment is here to invest and to change the gambling industry. We know that disrupting an industry takes time, and it’s difficult, but wait for three, four, or five years, and you will see that the industry has changed.”

Although the metaverse is still largely a future concept, it is already beginning to slowly shift its way into the global gambling sector. The future of betting will be more about consumer convenience, with enhancements like virtual reality and augmented reality being among the major trends in the industry. The same goes for gaming in general; advancements in technology will make it easier than ever before for us to enjoy games at home or on the go.

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Agne Cimermanaite

Agne is a journalist and writer with a background in literature, culture, and arts. She entered the Web3 space in 2021 and began writing about cryptocurrency and NFTs. Agne is passionate about technology and storytelling and is always on the lookout for exciting stories.

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