Tech Transformers

Virtual reality gambling expected to grow 800 percent by 2021 driven by ‘high rollers’

Virtual reality (VR) gambling wagers are set to rise 800 percent in the next five years driven by "high rollers" using the technology, according to a new report released on Monday.

The total amount of bets from VR gambling will grow from just over $58.5 million this year, to just under $520 million by 2021, Juniper Research said in a study.

Technology giants from Samsung to Facebook are all betting that VR will take off with consumers. Juniper is forecasting that VR gambling deployments will revolve around putting the player in an immersive casino experience.

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The VR market is expected to explode with hardware revenues from headsets, accessories and 360 degree cameras set to reach over $50 billion by 2021, up from $5 billion this year, Juniper said in another report.

But the research firm also said that the rise of VR gambling could be held back by the cost of devices, as well as the fact that in the short-and-medium-term, the addressable user base will be limited to early adopters.

Report author Lauren Foye said the initial VR gamblers will consist of players using smartphone-based headsets like Samsung's Gear VR, and top-end devices like the Oculus Rift, which requires being plugged in to an advanced computer.

"These will be coupled with a niche clientele, often high-rollers, thereby resulting in comparatively large average wager amongst these early adopters," Foye said.