In the 'bad old days' of online casinos, players used to have to download software to their computers in order to join in with the wagering fun.
Nearly all of these downloads were in the form of Windows executable files, which meant they could only be run on PCs and laptops that ran Microsoft Windows. This left Mac users out in the online gambling wilderness.
Some casinos offered Mac downloads, and computer-savvy Mac users could sometimes get Window-based software to run under OSX, but not without jumping through a few hoops.
Happily, most online casinos have now abandoned 'download-only' options in favour of HTML-based software that can be run in any browser and under any operating system, including OSX!
Below you will find details of the very best online casinos that will run perfectly well on your iMac or MacBook. Why not read a few reviews and see if you can discover your right casino?
About Mac casinos
It's almost impossible to estimate just how many online casinos there are out there on the internet. Two or three brand new online casinos seem to spring up each and every day, and although a few never seem to make it past the first few months, most of them are at least reasonably successful.
Online casinos started appearing on the web in the late 1990s. At the time, most people only had dial-up connections when connecting to the internet, and only a select few were lucky enough to have broadband.
This meant that connections were slow. As a result, the best an online casino could do in terms of connectivity was to offer a downloadable casino software suite, and then control the 'randomness' of the software (a key factor when it comes to gambling!) by sending packets of numeric data.
Downloadable casino software was offered as a 'once-only' download and such software needed to be resolute and secure. Because creating such software was a specialist task, it made sense for fledging online gambling companies to concentrate solely on one single operating system, and virtually all of them naturally chose to concentrate on Microsoft Windows.
This left Mac/OSX users in the wagering darkness. Hardly any online gambling companies offered software for Macs. It was possible for Mac users to get downloadable casinos to work on their Macs by using 'virtual environment' software such as VirtualBox or Wine, but the results were hit and miss, to say the least.
Apple and Adobe - not the best of buddies
By 2010 online casinos had begun to move towards software that did not have to be installed and downloaded. This, however, was still bad news for OSX users, as the 'no download required' games offered were written using Adobe Flash. Adobe and Apple were not the best of pals - Apple founder Steve Jobs would not allow Adobe Flash on iPhone and iPads - which meant the chances of an Adobe Flash app working on an iMac or MacBook were again, hit and miss.
However, the rise of the iPhone kind of signalled the death of Abode Flash. Web sites were keen for their sites to work on the iPhone. When the iPad was released in 2010, this enthusiasm accelerated. Sites began to look at ways in which they could ensure that the interactive elements on their web pages functioned on iPhones and iPads.
The rise of HTML5
All this changed late in October 2014 when the World Wide Web Consortium released HTML5. This version of HTML had been around as an 'experimental' release since 2012, but the October 2014 version was declared a 'stable recommendation'.
HTML5 gave web sites exactly what they had been looking for - a way of easily embedding video and apps within their pages using HTML. When you view a web page containing HTML5 elements, those elements download temporarily to your computer, and open up with whichever browser you are using to view the page.
The key factor of HTML5 is that it works in ANY browser capable of rendering HTML (which is all of them!) and under any operating system: Windows, Android, Linux, and of course, OSX.
Because HTML5 apps are temporary downloads, this means that Mac users are no longer forced to download and install standalone apps on their machines. They simply have to open up the revelant online casino, click on any game they want to play, and within a few seconds they are ready to start spinning reels, dealing cards or tossing their chips onto the roulette table!
What Mac users can expect at an online casino
Mac users can expect the same from an online casino as any other online gambler using any other operating system.
- Bonuses - match deposit bonuses will help boost your initial bankroll, while free spins bonuses will allow you to sample online slots games without the need to risk any of your own money.
- Great games - you'll be able to discover your gambling niche. Will you be a slots fans, or will your preference be for table games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat?
- Great providers - several brilliant software companies have sprung up who provide superb gambling games, including NetEnt, Betsoft and Microgaming. Be sure you check out Gonzo's Quest, Under The Bed and Jurassic Park.
Online gambling can be a great deal of fun, as long as you do so responsibly. If you do feel that you are developing issues with gambling addiction, there are several organisations that can help you, including GambleAware and GamCare.
If you're a newcomer to the world of online casinos - Mac user or otherwise - it can often be a bewildering place. That's why RightCasino exists - to help inform you about which online casinos are great places to play, and which ones are best avoided. We review and rank all the best online casinos in terms of fairness, safety, payment options and the bonuses, promotions, games and other software benefits offered.
RightCasino will help you find a Mac casino that's right for you.