The development of the online casino world has always been tied to the technology that was available to the public. If you think about it, all the major changes in the space since its inception in the mid-1990s have come as a result of a change in the way the world accesses information. As a result, casino software developers have constantly been changing the delivery methods for their games to go along with new game development.
Casino operators have been trying to ensure their websites and payments methods have also been updated with the changing times. There are very few industries that have had this much disruption in such a short period of time. However, now you have access to a full casino in your pocket! Here’s look at how we got here and what that means for you as a player.
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The Casino Makes Its Way to Mobile
It all started with the first online casinos, which were a way to prevent you from having to get dressed and go to a local live casino to get your gambling fix (if there was even an option for that where you lived). Games were slow, as were internet connections, and when you were able to get your dial-up connection (remember those??) up and running long enough, you had to download a huge piece of software to your machine to be able to play the games.
Within a few years, broadband connections became more prevalent, as did a new delivery method for casino games: Java. Games built in this language could be displayed in the browser of a PC, meaning that you could access games from anywhere. However, these also had a lot of issues when they first launched. Lag time was often a problem, making the gameplay not very enjoyable. Players stuck it out though, and developers improved the quality of the games, including building them in a new language called Flash.
As these non-download games were growing in popularity, there was also a rise in changing technology from a hardware perspective. The PC was giving way to the laptop, and the first “smartphones” were making it possible to access the internet from your telephone for the first time. As early as the introduction of these phones to the marketplace, casino software companies recognized the potential. However, if you thought there were problems with the delivery of casino games to PCs, the magnification of the issues when it came to delivering to a small screen on the go was exponential.
Starting with the fact that these games were being delivered wirelessly, the size of each packet had to be much smaller. On top of that, each phone had a different screen size, requiring a developer to either build games for each size or to make their games dynamically sized. Both of these were major challenges, let alone the fact that the games were going to be even slower than the browser-based games on a laptop.
We all know how bad our signals seem now, but imagine trying to play a game of blackjack or roulette in 2002 on a tiny screen that just freezes the second you are out of range. The industry rejected these games for a long time; it took major changes both from the hardware and network perspectives to finally have us in a position where online games made sense on these smartphones.
These days, the phones in our pockets are as powerful as our laptops from 10 years. In fact, many people have abandoned their PCs as almost everything they were using them for can be replicated on smartphones or tablets. This rapid shift away from the PC had been recognized by the gaming industry, so it was ready to deliver games in a mobile format much sooner than many other industries. Now, you should have no problem playing from your phone in a poker tournament that takes hours (aside from battery life of course – there is nothing the casino industry can do about that).
Why Play at Mobile Casinos?
There are many reasons for you to play at a mobile casino. The first of which is convenience. Today, if you get the urge to play a few hands of blackjack, all you have to do is pull out your phone, head to your favorite site and log in and play! Of course, you will have to have an account full of money to play for real money, but that is easy enough these days as well.
The second reason to play at a mobile casino is, well, the mobility of course! Many times you will not find yourself in front of your laptop, or maybe you still have a PC and aren’t at the house or even in the room where the computer sits. With a mobile device, you are only an arm’s length away from the casino and an internet connection away from sitting at your favorite game.
Finally, one last reason to play at a mobile casino is privacy. Maybe you don’t want the people at your work to see what you are doing (or you can’t access the site on your work computer). Perhaps you want to play some roulette while your kids are watching Frozen on Netflix for the 500th time and you don’t want them to ask what all the pretty colors are on your phone. Regardless of the reasoning (we don’t judge), being able to hold the screen close to you gives you a level of privacy that you simply can’t attain from a PC.
Types of Mobile Casinos
You may not realize it, depending on where you live, but there are different ways you can access an online casino through your mobile device. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish, but that is what we are here for!
Mobile Browser Casinos
The most common way that you can play mobile casino games is via a mobile browser. These games, usually built in Flash or HTML 5 depending on what operating system you are using, give you access to the games without having to download any software to your phone or tablet.
These browser games are mostly built dynamically so you can play them on any screen size. This way, if you play on both a tablet and a phone, you won’t lose any quality when it comes to the game. All of the graphics are being sent to the phone with each spin so there may be a little bit of lag depending on the strength of your connection.
For an operator, this is also the best way for you to access their games, as it requires the least amount of development from their end, and also, for the most part, requires no licensing or regulation.
Native App Casinos
The other way you can play mobile casinos is by downloading an app to your phone. In this case, most of the graphics are being hosted locally on your phone, which means a developer can offer games with more detailed gameplay as the graphics are not being pushed to your device with every spin.
For a developer, this means having to build their product to the guidelines provided by each individual mobile app provider. The most common of these are the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Android App Store. Between these three operating systems, you will find the vast majority of devices are covered. However, each of these companies works on devices of different sizes, so it is up to the developer to ensure the apps are built to the specific sizes laid out for each device.
The next step for casino app development is getting the app approved by the individual provider. This isn’t as easy as it may seem. Of course, the gambling laws of each country are a factor, and until recently most of the mobile operators had a blanketed rejection of these gambling apps. In the last few years, they have been more open to approving casino apps on a country by country basis, which is why you may read a review on our site that tells you a casino has an app only to find that it is isn’t, in fact, available in your app store.
As the gambling markets continue to open up, we are sure to find the app stores filling up with more and more casino options for players.
Mobile Casino Bonuses
Of course, when you are looking to find a mobile casino to play for real money, you want to take into consideration what bonuses and promotions are offered. Many sites will have offers that are specific to their mobile games, so it is important that you understand all the types of bonuses before you make your decisions.
Free Chip Bonuses
Many casinos will offer you a free chip to try out their games. When this happens, you will create an account on their mobile site (it can tell when you have done that), and then a free chip will be placed in your balance. You can then sit down at the real money games and give them a try on the house. If you lose, the balance disappears, but if you win, you can turn that money into real cash! You will probably have to play through the chips a few times to have it qualify for real money, but once you meet the site’s requirements, you will be able to do what you want with the money – it’s all yours!
Free Spin Bonuses
These bonuses are offered by mobile casinos to attract you to their slots games. They work similarly to the Free Chip Bonus – you create an account, and you are rewarded with a certain number of free spins. These are usually tied to a specific game, meaning you can’t just choose any game and play. When you use the spins, anything you win goes into your account as bonus money, and once you meet the site wagering requirements, you can use that money the same way as any money you would deposit, or you can just withdraw it.
Mobile casinos offer players an excellent bonus to become a depositing player. Once you have used your free play bonuses, you should look to see what the site is giving new players. In most cases, it is a combination of bonus dollars, free spins, and loyalty points. Do your homework, and you will find some amazing offers out there!
This is the best chance to get the most out of your deposit, so you should definitely choose wisely, and make sure you look at the terms and conditions of the bonus. Sites differ in how much you have to play through a bonus to convert it to real money, so you should double-check each offer to make sure it is the best one for you.
New Game Offers
When a casino releases a new game to their mobile platform, they sometimes give you a chance to play it for free or for a discounted rate. Check your email and text messages, as these promotions are typically communicated those ways and are time-sensitive.
Tournaments and Leaderboards
For players who have already played for real money, you can take advantage of other promotions a site offers like tournaments or leaderboards. Both of these promotions are usually built around a particular timeframe (some hours or days), and at the end of the qualifying period, a bonus is given to the highest ranked players. These can be site-wide or based on one particular game.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can take advantage of offers from a mobile casino. Each of these gives you a chance to increase your bankroll, which is, after all, why you are playing at the casino in the first place!
Mobile Casino Deposits
One question we are often asked is, “How do I make deposits at a mobile casino?” We are here to tell you that it is very simple. In fact, most of the payment options will be the same whether you are making your deposit through your mobile device or your PC. Here are a couple of ways to get your money to a mobile site:
Credit Card Deposits
The simplest way to get money to a site is by entering your credit card details and choosing a deposit amount. Many people have that information already stored on their phones from other mobile purchases, so what you will find is that the information can be filled in automatically, speeding up the whole process!
One issue with credit card deposits is that your bank may reject the transaction based on the coding of an online gambling site. If that is the case, you will be alerted, and then you can look for one of the alternative funding methods.
In the last decade, companies like Neteller and Skrill have made it simple for you to use their products to make deposits at mobile casinos. These companies, along with the dozens that have come after them, are designed to be a middleman in the process. You are purchasing online cash from the e-wallet, which you can use for many purchases online, including gaming transactions. As they are coded differently than credit cards, you are more likely to have these types of deposits approved.
Also, you will find that getting your money back from a casino will take less time if you are using one of these e-wallet solutions. Without having to go directly to banks, there are far fewer delays in processing, which is another reason why these methods have become so popular with online gamblers in recent years.
Prepaid Mobile Deposits
For those of you having trouble with your credit card, or those who perhaps don’t want that kind of transaction on your statement, mobile casinos offer you the ability to make deposits using prepaid options. Companies like Paysafecard create a 16-digit number similar to that of a credit card but allow you to use that number to make deposits and withdrawals at mobile casinos. The cards can be loaded at many retail locations, and with their apps, you don’t even need a physical card!
There will always be new methods of depositing cash at mobile casinos, so check back to this site often to stay up to date on all your available options.
The Future of Mobile Casinos
We are only at the beginning of the lifespan of mobile gaming. While it may seem like science fiction to be able to play your favorite casino games on your mobile device, it is certainly a delivery method that is going to change as quickly as the devices themselves. These days, we are already seeing the signs of a shift. Virtual Reality is becoming more advanced and commonplace these days, and with it have come some interesting takes on the casino world. We can definitely expect to find ourselves more involved and immersed in the digital gaming experience shortly.