Land-Based Casinos Embrace 3D Technology; Could Online Casinos be Close Behind?

Tech could open up a new host of opportunities for online casino owners, game developers, and players

In the last half-decade or so, stereoscopic 3D was touted as the next big thing in entertainment. The push for 3D entertainment spawned such highlights as Avatar, James Cameron’s jaw-dropping vision of life on an alien planet. The film was praised by critics and moviegoers alike and further cemented Cameron’s place as one of the leading visionaries in Hollywood.

The 3D bug also managed to hit the casino industry hard. In joining the 3D bandwagon, leading slot machine manufacturer IGT introduced its own glasses-free 3D solution called REELDepth Technology. The tech gives players a sense of depth via a multi-layer display MLD setup that uses two separate LCD panels. The pseudo 3D effect is accomplished by displaying and moving different game elements over the two separate screens.

“It presents to the player what is arguably the best slot game experience to date,” said Robert Allen, Corporate Vice President of Slot Operations for Grand Casinos. “REELdepth embodies much of what is best about IGT — forward-looking technology and engineering, design and application of game content with artistic flair, and the full gamut of great slot games.”

By itself, 3D technology opens up a wealth of new gameplay options for casinos and slots manufacturers alike. According to San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino Floor Manager, Todd DiMillo, the extra bells and whistles pique player interest, but it’s the actual gaming experience that keeps them playing.

“Initially, the 3D appearance draws players’ interest, but once they figure out they can switch from playing a 3-reel spinning-reel theme to a 4- or 5-reel game right at their seat, they’re hooked,” he told 3DFocus.

With 3D already a big hit in land-based casinos, could we be nearing a 3D revolution on online casinos as well? It’s not so far-fetched an idea. YouTube already offers 3D videos. Nvidia also has 3D Vision, a piece of tech that lets players experience PC games in full 3D without having to patch or modify them.

A marriage of two similar technologies would open up a new host of opportunities for online casino owners, game developers, and players. This might prove especially important now that Betfair Arcade parent company Betfair has snagged a landmark ruling that allowed it to fully launch its online casino in New Jersey.

It’s always a race to be the first, to be the best. Although it’s been around for years, 3D technology remains the next big thing in the gaming industry, so whoever manages to successfully integrate the technology to their online offerings potentially stands to gain millions.

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