Increasing amounts of online gamblers are using mobile devices to bet on sports, play slot machines, participate in poker games, and what have you. This guide introduces you to the most legitimate mobile-friendly gambling websites.
Two of the biggest factors when betting on mobile devices is the reliability of the site (will you get your winnings paid out safely in case you win?) and the quality of the mobile interface (most mobile gambling websites and applications are still horrible).
The following is a list of gambling sites that get it. They do their best to service their customers professionally every day, and they’ve also understood the importance of a well-functioning mobile interface.
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Plenty of People Already Gamble on Mobile
Mobile gaming has become incredibly popular. 115+ million Americans play games on their smartphones (up 10% from 2013); it’s hard to tell what the real numbers are, though, since Statista claims over 164 million Americans to play on their smartphones.
Perhaps the real number is one of those or somewhere in between them, but in any case, mobile gaming is wildly popular. Overall, mobile gaming was a $25 billion industry in 2014. Furthermore, researchers expect rapid growth to continue: if Newzoo is right, mobile gaming will overtake console gaming in 2015 (around $30 billion vs. around $26 billion).
Every sports bettor that I know constantly uses their mobile devices to both place bets and keep track of fixtures. In many ways, sports betting sites have made betting online easier by cutting out all the unnecessary fluff from the desktop version and transformed it into a mobile interface that comes with a wonderful user experience. (Not all of them, of course, but surprisingly many have succeeded at this.)
Mobile Casinos and Poker Sites
While I know people that place sports bets on their mobile devices, I’ve yet to see anyone playing casino or poker games on them. The best mobile casinos are laughing all the way to the bank due to success of operators like LeoVegas. While all mobile gaming is likely to continue (especially as mobile screen sizes get bigger), converting actual real-money games to mobile in a way that makes the playing experience more user-friendly and exciting (after all, gamblers look for the thrill and excitement) will be tough to do.
I’ve tried mobile poker, for example, but I find the desktop experience much more enjoyable. Still, VentureBeat reports that PokerStars now gets over 50% of new customers through mobile channels. In the UK, gambling sites report that nearly half of their mobile customers are mobile-only.
Simply put: screen sizes matter when you play actual games. According to a Nielsen study, those who own smartphones with screen sizes larger than 5” are 28% more likely to play games on their mobile devices than the average smartphone owner.
Will smartphones be able to capture the thrill and excitement that you can (and should!) get from playing real-money gambling games? Based on my experience, the bigger the screen, the more captivating the experience. Playing for real money on a mobile phone simply doesn’t feel the same as playing a desktop version, and I refuse to play real money casino games (in which, due to the house edge, I’m the more likely loser) unless I get enough thrill and excitement in exchange.
Right now, mobile casinos and poker sites are less capable than their desktop counterparts. For example, nearly all mobile casinos have significantly less games than their desktop versions, and none of the mobile poker applications can match the desktop version as far as game selection and features go – how are you going to play multiple tables at the same time on a mobile device, for instance? There are certain challenges that mobile applications are always going to struggle with.
A Minimalist Experience
Then again, perhaps mobile gambling sites are going to succeed despite of not being as feature-rich as their desktop counterparts. Mobile apps in general will only work when stripped down to the absolutely essential, and while they may not be able to offer everything a desktop version of a gambling site does, they may be able to offer some parts of the online casino and poker experience in an improved way.
Last year, I was at a gaming conference in Amsterdam, and the casino games on display there looked impressive. The new NetEnt and Cryptologic games, for example, have excellent graphics and user experience. Still, I’d rather play games with excellent graphics on a desktop if I’m playing for real money.
Speaking of ”real money,” mobile social casino games are incredibly popular already. VentureBeat reports that spending on mobile games grew 55% year-to-year in the iOS App Store (November 2013 – November 2014), and estimates the market to be worth around $2.7 billion already.
Social casino games offer no real-money prizes – in other words, customers spend plenty of money on mobile casino games without having a chance to win anything. It’s an interesting bit of information: people are willing to spend money on mobile casino games for the social experience rather than the (no matter how distinct) chance of winning real money.
Mobile games are worth trying, though, since mobile gambling websites offer generous promotions in order to get more customers to try the mobile experience. They’re also making games exclusive to mobile devices.
Sports bettors have plenty of mobile apps that make their lives easier. Casino and poker players need to decide if they’re looking for a feature-rich experience or the opposite, and in case of the latter, they may actually find the mobile experience more user-friendly and convenient.