Did you hear the news or read the headline? In July 2015, a lucky individual bagged a whopping €3.1 million jackpot playing NetEnt's progressive classic, Mega Fortune. A multi-million Euro prize wasn't the news, the fact it was won on a mobile was. The jackpot marked the biggest slots payout for a mobile slot to date, and there's every sign it's the start of a trend. Online gambling firms are reporting record profits every quarter, not from desktop but fed by a rise in mobile gambling. Playing casino online games on the move has never been faster or more convenient.
Today's smartphones and tablets are more powerful than the laptops released just a few years ago. With so much power available in the palm of your hand, it's easy to see why people have abandoned traditional computers for mobile devices. Did you know that more than half of all web traffic comes from mobile platforms? It's hard for yesterday's technology to compete with the convenience people demand today. Luckily online casinos have answered the call.
On the surface, mobile casinos seem straight out of science fiction. Being able to gamble anywhere in the country at only a couple second's notice would be unfathomable just a few years ago. Yet that's precisely what mobile gaming is about. You can enjoy games in bed, on the train, at the beach, or anywhere there's an internet connection.
But convenience is just one plus of mobile games. HTML5 and Flash are allowing developers to adapt players' favourite desktop games for the smartphone. The same great graphics and features remain, but everything's now a little more portable.
Mobile games have come a long way since first gaining popularity a couple years ago. For the most part, smartphone and tablet games are on par with their PC and Mac counterparts. Still there are some distinctions that are worth noting.
To factor in the small 5" or 7" screen of an Android or iOS tablet or phone, game features are adapted and streamlined. Out goes all the background graphics and fluff, and in comes the core features of the game. Action buttons are accessed by touch, while pay tables and rules can be read by swiping the game screen. With major mobile phone manufacturers improving their handsets and OS on a regular basis, smartphones are fast becoming the best way to gamble online.
You'll notice the casino lobby looking a little different to a desktop one, again to factor in your screen size capabilities. You may also find a limited range of games available compared to desktop play. It's not unusual to find half the number of table games and slots when you load your mobile app. When you consider that PC-based casinos have hundreds of games, a fraction of that amount is more than sufficient.
Even with fewer games to choose from and smaller screens to contend with, most people prefer playing on their mobile. That's probably because the vast majority of Brits bring their smartphone or tablet everywhere. Why stay at home or lug around a laptop, when you have total access to the world's greatest casinos right in your pocket? Mobile gambling also makes it easy to enjoy brief gambling sessions and even play discretely.
Some casinos supply downloadable apps via the App Store or Google Play. However, most of the time dedicated native apps are available directly from the casino homepage. Just visit the casino online site and download the software from there, as you would a traditional PC one. If you are downloading a separate Android app, remember to change the settings on your phone to allow apps from outside the Store. You can count on the casino to give you step by step instructions.
Alternatively, games can be played without download simply by registering a username and password with the casino. Games can be played and real-cash deposits made by logging in using your mobile web browser.
Most mobile slots work off HTML5 and will work with most browsers on your phone. But if you're using Flash, make sure your phone has the latest version. A current OS on your mobile is essential too. We recommend Android 7.0 Nougat or iOS 10 (available for the iPhone 5 upwards) so that the latest games will play. Of course, older operating systems will work fine, but you'll have greater success with newer releases.
Unless you're using Wi-Fi exclusively, you need to ensure your data package is up to the job of coping with mobile games. Every time you play casino games on your smartphone you'll be using data. Most phones let you restrict your data usage, while most Android devices and the iPhone let you set up warnings to tell you when you're close to the limit. Also ensure your mobile provider doesn't block gambling apps and sites where you live. You can usually have these blocks lifted upon request.
No-one wants viruses and malware on their computers, and mobile phones should be treated the same. Apps like Avast installed on your Smartphone help beef up security when playing games via the browser. But just like desktop casino online sites, mobile destinations should provide top SSL security to protect players' login details and accounts. As with any security, especially mobile, it's important to be wary of hackers applying fake SSL certificates to apps. It's rare, but it has happened.
Look for the eCOGRA or GLI logos too. These are a sign that mobile game random number generators have been audited independently to ensure fairness.
Whether you're using the latest Apple smartphone or Android tablet, there are thousands of top slots and table games available to play right now.
Developers are even beginning to adapt games for the new Apple Watch. While we're not too sure about gambling on roulette on a screen no bigger than a postage stamp, there's no doubt online gambling has never been so accessible - or so exciting. If you're not convinced on the merits of mobile gambling, we're sure you'll come around.