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 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.”