The greatest risks associated with the metaverse will revolve around technical, functional, and legal implementations of meta gambling, along with its mass adaptation.
These are the words expressed by Vladimir Malakchi, CCO at Evoplay, who is the latest participant to voice his opinion on the metaverse as part of CasinoBeats’ Heavy Meta series, sponsored by SBC Advisory.
As it currently stands, according to Malakchi, the industry is only taking its first steps towards shaping its supply, but like any first-time innovation, its “requires a lot of technical resources, which of course not all companies, and therefore players, can afford”.
He stated: “At present, the cost of VR headsets and other needed devices varies from $300 to $1,500, which is a sum a player needs to invest only to be able to try meta gambling. Of course, with full implementation, the headset will be more accessible to all classes of players, but now it looks more like an exclusive form of gambling entertainment.
“In addition, it becomes vulnerable to attacks from hackers, in which player data, results, and winnings can be lost forever.
“The final risk, which is rather philosophical but applies to the metaverse overall, is utopia. In the metaverse, absolutely everything can be done directly from your home and it feels like it’s really happening.
“In the metaverse, absolutely everything can be done directly from your home and it feels like it’s really happening”
“In extreme cases, this can deprive players of any reason to leave their home, or to make an effort to do something in the physical world. Therefore, such a high-tech and rather spoiling innovation as the meta-world must first be properly explained and presented to people, so that it can be used for the benefit of people, the world, and new discoveries.”
However, on the topic of headsets and technology accessibility, Malakchi emphasised that as the metaverse becomes a reality, a headset for a full virtual casino experience will “naturally become more affordable”.
“Research firm Tractica says that the price of VR headsets should decline by about 15 per cent each year over the coming years,” explained Malakchi.
“Therefore, in three to five years, when the virtual gambling industry will inevitably be more developed, the prices for the headset will be much lower than nowadays, opening up a fresh concept to a wider range of players
“In addition, I would expect a variable price policy for headsets depending on the manufacturer, material, functionality, and additional features in terms of timers, notifications, and so on to offer VR to different economic classes.”
Moving onto how this new digital landscape will look and feel, Malakchi noted that the metaverse will allow players to interact no differently to those in a real-life environment.
“Meta players will be able to walk into virtual casinos, interact with dealers and croupiers, and socialise with other players like they would in a real casino,” Evoplay’s CCO explained. “Alternatively, they can also play on behalf of the game character in the slot, when sitting at home.”
“Opportunities that the metaverse opens are not limited only to virtual casinos…”
Additionally, Malakchi noted that he is also looking forward to seeing innovation within game development and virtual playing experiences once the metaverse is in full swing, as it would, in his words, open up a plethora of unique and distinctive titles that would be different to what is currently available.
He continued: “Opportunities that the metaverse opens are not limited only to virtual casinos – with time, there will be entire virtual cities, both imagined and real, that players can visit by having access to VR equipment.”
Delving into responsible gambling within the meta space, Evoplay’s CCO stated that there can be existing core legal foundations within both the land-based and online verticals that can be adapted and further developed.
“Since meta gambling means fusion of offline and online gambling, it also brings together two common frameworks that mix both experiences, so existing core legal foundations can be in place, but also adapted in light of further development,” Malakchi stated.
“It’s important that we focus on protecting those working and playing in the metaverse, much like we would for land-based or online initiatives.”
Rounding off his thoughts on the metaverse, Malakchi believes that the potential of the digital space is “enormous”.
He concluded: “Business experts consider the metaverse to be the most anticipated global innovation in decades and predict an incredible demand among users in all industries. It is one of the most actively investing areas – the metaverse market is expected to reach $783.3bn in 2024, so in the nearest future, one can expect plenty of projects using new technology.
“In gambling, as part of the ever-advancing entertainment industry, the metaverse’s potential is enormous. The entire digital portal allows players to be transferred to any casino that supports this feature, becoming the hero of any game and experiencing all the random events themselves.
“This will certainly be an attractive factor for millennials, as it will give them what traditional product offerings currently lack.”