Expert Social Casino Writer
The recent pandemic may have forced us all indoors, but while in lockdown it seems we took to online betting in a big way. And that appears to have hastened a move to introduce new technology, ultimately encouraging even more players to explore free gameplay at sweepstakes casinos.
The complex gambling laws across the US make it perfectly legal to wager on casino games in one state, whilst it’s illegal in others. But sweepstakes gaming is legal almost everywhere, as no gambling takes place - if you’re not wagering something of value on a chance outcome then state betting laws simply don’t apply.
Sweepstakes casinos saw a huge rise in popularity during the pandemic, during which land-based casinos were obliged to shut their doors. With little to keep them occupied while shut away at home, gaming fans turned to free-to-play social casinos to pass the time. This turned out to be a boom time for online gaming operators, and one which has helped to fast-track technological advancements, including mobile apps, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
Recent reports suggest that the Virtual Reality gaming market is projected to grow at an almost exponential rate. From a market value of just over $9 billion during 2022, the expectation is that this will have risen to around $76 billion by the end of the decade - which is exciting news for anyone who enjoys playing free slots and casino games.
Virtual Reality (VR) involves the use of a headset to provide images that replicate the experience of being at a physical casino. Meanwhile, Augmented Reality (AR) uses a combination of real-life visuals with virtual reality for a hybrid experience that adds an extra layer of realism to online gaming.
The move towards VR and AR has been driven in large part by a focus on providing fully mobile casino gameplay. These days players don’t have to wait until they’re seated at a desk to enjoy playing online slots and casino table games. Mobile apps make it easier than ever to access free gameplay when out and about too, enabling players to enjoy all their favorites, anywhere they have an internet connection.
The inherent portability and communication aspects of mobile devices has encouraged sweepstake casinos to emphasize their social aspect. It’s easy for players to chat to each other, joining up with old friends and making new ones as they enjoy playing all their casino favorites.
As VR and AR become more commonplace, sweepstakes casinos will be aiming to emulate the full bricks-and-mortar experience, albeit without the use of any real money. Once logged into your social site you’ll be able to move around, just as you would at a real-life establishment, entering different rooms and chatting to other players as well as the live dealers at sites such as Stake.us.
Now the online free-to-play casino experience becomes more realistic than ever before. Already the technology is in place to provide players with a special ‘glove’ that will enable even more physical interactions, such as manually pulling the lever of a one-armed bandit, or handling playing cards rather than clicking or tapping them on a screen.
Right now there are only very limited opportunities to explore the world of completely immersive VR casino gameplay, but that’s all set to change. Already big brands have started rolling out VR headsets, with operators making moves to accommodate the technology as swiftly as possible in response to player demand.
Before too long, we fully expect to be able to wander freely around sweepstakes casinos, chatting with other players and engaging with them in a way that’s never been possible before in the online world. Watch this space for further news about the advancements in technology that will make playing free casino games even more entertaining. Until then, be sure to take a look at operators such as Stake.us and WOW Vegas, which offer high-quality gameplay accessible across all your devices without the need for any downloads.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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