Best mobile casinos for UK players
Learn about the rise of mobile casinos and find the best places to gamble on the go.
Modern smartphone technology has facilitated the rise of mobile casinos, and created a global mobile gambling market worth more than $10 billion. But where did gambling at your fingertips shift from desktop online casinos to mobile, and what’s it all about?
Top 10 mobile casinos
Fancy a gamble on the go? The websites below have been selected by our experts as the best mobile casinos available.
About mobile casinos
In 1996, the gambling software giant Microgaming launched the world’s first ever online casino. It was beset with technical problems: frustratingly slow loading times, endless ‘buffering’ and a lack of robust security features. It was, however, a blueprint for the future.
The real genesis of mobile gaming can be found in 2007 when the first wave of smartphones (including the original Apple iPhone) were released onto the market. This was followed in 2010 by the launch of the Apple iPad. These devices delivered faster loading times, crisper resolution, 3D graphics and, perhaps most importantly, touchscreen capabilities. The arrival of 3G and now 4G internet has created seamless player interaction, and responsive web design means gambling websites can now adjust and cater for mobile users.
In the future, mobile gambling looks set to benefit from ‘self-powered’ mobile devices, NFC-based mobile wallets and an increasing number of mobile casino apps.
Other mobile devices
Learn about gambling on the go with Android devices.
Learn about and compare iPad casinos.
Learn about and compare iphone casinos.
Nearly every casino that offers a mobile version of their site develops with iPads, iPhones and Android devices in mind. This used to be in the form of dedicated, downloadable apps, but now more casinos are creating HTML5 apps that download ‘temporarily’ in a mobile browser.
This tactic helps casinos to side-step the problems associated with getting their apps on iTunes and Google Play (the latter does not allow gambling apps that permit real money play to be hosted there at all). It’s also good news for Windows Phones and BlackBerry users, as HTML5-based apps should also work on their devices.
Android, iOS, and Windows
It wasn’t that long ago that developers had not yet gotten the hang of creating software for different operating systems. As mobile had only just begun to emerge as a real alternative to desktop, there was a long way to go before it became the unified experience we know it as today.
Today, the majority of all applications and in-browser games are available across all but the smallest, most niche operating systems. If you have an iOS or Android phone, you will find no difficulty in accessing mobile casinos today and in truth, even those on Windows will not have any issue thanks to the HTML 5 software language, which plays nice with all kinds of systems.
Tablet vs smartphone
Everyone and their grandma (quite literally) owns a mobile device of some sort nowadays. Smartphones have become invaluable to our daily lives, allowing us to do everything from grocery shopping to staying in touch with relatives, all while we are out and about doing other things.
Tablets have also carved out their own space in our lives. While these are slightly less portable in that they don’t fit in a pocket, they are slowly gaining ground as portable work devices, replacing the heavier laptop. Most tablets would call the living room home, allowing users to read and play games in a format that is a bit larger and a bit more comfortable than your average smartphone.
As a way to gamble, tablets can sometimes be preferable. The larger screens let players experience the games in a different way. For older users, bigger screens mean clearer, easier gambling sessions.
App vs browser
Casino brands have two options when it comes to adapting their products for the mobile market. App downloads are one way to go and these have several advantages. The experience is more cohesive, with the brand able to create a holistic gambling platform that looks and operates in the way it wants. Everything from casino logos to layout can be altered to create the perfect design.
In-browser mobile gambling is also quite popular. This type essentially means that the desktop version of the site is adapted to suit smaller screens, which means the two versions are pretty much identical in layout and design. Players may prefer this type if they are apprehensive about downloading third-party content to their devices or if they simply have no room for new applications.
When evaluating a mobile experience, we have not been able to definitively rank one type above the other. Both can be done well and both can be a bit of a letdown. It all comes down to the casino and the willingness to invest in this kind of platform. Much like in-browser desktop casinos and download casino clients have their pros and cons, so too do mobile apps versus mobile browser casinos.
Mobile gambling safety and security
There is an assumption in some quarters that mobile casinos can’t provide the requisite level of security, leaving gamers at the mercy of card duplication and identity theft. This, however, is a myth perpetuated by the social taboos surrounding gambling and general technophobia.
Many of us feel comfortable shopping online using our credit or debit card, and that’s because payment gateways are as robust as they come. The same principles apply to mobile gaming, with the most rigorous data encryption imaginable. Furthermore, modern casino accepted payment methods such as Ukash and Paysafecard don’t actually require users to enter personal information online.
Mobile casino games
The popularity of online slots, mobile slots and roulette has spiralled over the past few years with the release of HTML5 games. Mobile betting has also come to the fore, with Irish bookmaker Paddy Power generating 51% of its total betting revenue in 2013 from mobile devices. ‘Fast-fold poker’ is another modern phenomenon, offering a high-octane poker experience where players are thrust onto a new table every time they fold a hand, thus eliminating waiting times.
Since mobile now occupies around twenty percent of the online gambling market, operators are tailoring their games purely to mobile users. In July 2013, one lucky punter scooped £866,000 at William Hill’s mobile casino.
The move towards mobile
In July 2014, the global information and research service comScore.com released figures that confirmed the increasing popularity of mobile devices. These figures indicated that in January 2014, internet usage via mobile devices exceeded internet usage on desktops and laptops for the first time ever.
This news alerted online casino providers around the globe to think about their mobile-owning clientele more diligently, and to provide them with more agreeable mobile options than just a few slots and table games.
Some casinos started to openly embrace mobile users as much – or even more so – as they did traditional desktop users. One casino which really upped the ante when it came to mobile play was LeoVegas, which offered almost 300 games on the mobile version of its site, out of its total portfolio of over 450 games.
LeoVegas were even the first owners of the new iPhone 6 when Apple’s latest smartphone product was launched in the UK. They then promptly gave the device away to one lucky punter who’d won a promotion on their site.
Mobile casino news
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