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While gambling has always played a big part in history, online gambling has seen a huge rise in popularity in the last few years. More and more players want access to the most convenient way to enjoy their gambling, and online casinos provide them with a chance to do exactly that. They can now enjoy their favorite casino games from the comfort of their home, using their desktop.
However, as technology developed, even that became old news, and the most recent development is the creation of mobile casino sites. Online casinos, being web-based, have almost always been available on your mobile browser, but that still didn’t offer the same ease of use that normal apps did. That’s why online casinos started creating apps for players to download.
We took it upon ourselves to find the best casino apps and use our evaluating criteria to review and rate them.
The Rising Popularity of Mobile Casinos
It might feel like you’ve had your smartphone your entire life, but smartphones were only created, as we know them, in the late 2000s. It was only around the early 2010s that most of the world owned one. With the creation of smartphones, people across the world became used to having information and access to various apps, sites, and games from their handheld devices. They could access this from anywhere in the world, and people began craving the convenience of it.
That’s why casinos decided to ensure that their gaming platforms are also available on mobile, starting with a mobile web-based platform. It further evolved from there to casino apps, offering another layer of convenience. Not to mention there isn’t a person today who owns a smartphone that doesn’t have some form of an app on it. That means that players are used to apps, how they work and how trustworthy they are.
This trust and knowledge carry over to the casino apps, making it easier for many players to use the app rather than the website. Soon, many casinos began to offer apps, where you could download them using the App Store or Google Play Store or by downloading them through the casino’s website.
Why Casino Apps are Better
One of the biggest and most obvious benefits is that you can play on the casino app no matter where you are. Few people go somewhere without their phones, and the gaming platform is now available with the click of a button. As long as you have a data connection and a charged phone, you can access all your favorite casino games.
Not to mention, casino apps often offer better loading times, pop-up notifications, and fingerprint identification, which makes using them hassle-free. Some apps also offer better payment methods or faster withdrawal speeds. If you play using an app, you’re always up-to-date on the state of your bets and withdrawals, as you can check it at any time during the day.
Mobile vs. Desktop
While one isn’t inherently better than the other, and both offer a similar gaming experience, there are plenty of advantages to playing on your mobile. We’ve already spoken about the convenience of an on-the-go gaming platform that is easier offered by a mobile casino than a desktop. Even if you use your laptop, it’s still a bulkier item than your phone.
Apps have very much become a daily part of life, and many people adjust better to an app than they do to a web-based platform. New mobile casino technology gets developed every year, making the mobile gaming experience on casino apps smoother and faster.
A type of casino that often has a casino app is a social casino. Social casinos refer to gamble-free casinos where no gambling is allowed. It acts more like an app game than a casino, and players can purchase in-app currency or tokens. These tokens can be used to play the casino games, but real money cannot be won while playing, only more tokens.
Social casinos do have Sweep events, where players can use Sweepstake coins to enter a specific event or competition and stand a chance to win a cash prize. However, these are the only real money that can be rewarded from social casinos, as they don’t allow actual betting with real money.
One of the main benefits of playing at an online casino, especially casino apps, is that different promotions are available to players. For those who don’t know, promotions are the incentives that lure new players to the site. There are also several casino bonuses to keep players at the site after registering.
Before you claim a promotion, you must know the bonus terms. The bonus terms refer to the conditions and restrictions applied to the promotion. This includes several different terms and whether the promotion has a promo code you need to enter to activate it. Note that certain promotions are also restricted to a specific game or game type.
The first condition we look for is whether it has a minimum deposit requirement. Generally, the minimum deposit is between $5 and $10, but it can go as high as $25. It’s important to note that the casino’s overall minimum deposit limit on their cashier page might not be the same as the deposit you need to make to claim the bonus.
Second, we check whether there are any payment restrictions. Some promotions state that deposits made with a certain method, usually Neteller or Skrill, are not eligible when you claim the bonus. Other promotions are only available if it is your first, second, third, or another specified number deposit.
Almost all bonuses have wagering requirements. Wagering requirements are also known as playthrough requirements and refer to how many times you need to wager the funds before you can withdraw them. The standard wagering requirements fall between 25x and 35x. However, it can go up to 50x or sometimes lower, even stating that there are no wagering requirements. In the case of no wagering requirements, the initial bonus amount is generally deducted from your winnings before the withdrawal.
Another important condition to look for is the bonus expiry period. This is the time you have to complete all the bonus terms and withdraw your winnings. If the wagering requirements aren’t completed in this timeframe, all bonus funds and winnings are void.
Lastly, we look at whether there is a maximum winnings limit. Depending on the type of bonus, the winnings cap can be high or low, or there might not be one at all. Winnings caps are often applied in the case of no deposit bonuses.
One of the first bonuses you’ll encounter is the welcome bonus. This bonus is given to the player as a reward for them signing up at the website. There are many different welcome bonuses, ranging from matched deposit to no deposit bonuses.
The aim of the welcome bonus is not only to attract new players but also to provide them with a chance to test the gaming platform. The bonus funds or free spins they receive make it easier to try different games without risking their bankroll.
The first and most common bonus type is the deposit bonus. The basics of this bonus are that you’ll receive some form of bonus funds when making a deposit. Most of the promotions in a casino app are deposit bonuses, as it’s a give-and-take situation between you and the casino service providers.
A matched deposit bonus refers to receiving a matched percentage of your deposit as bonus funds. This percentage can range from 25% to 500%, depending on the bonus. Generally, the welcome bonus will offer a higher percentage, between 100% and 500%, while something like a reload bonus will offer a lower percentage of returns, roughly between 25% and 100%.
The matched deposit bonus often has a maximum bonus funds limit. For example, let’s say you have a 100% bonus of up to $200. If you deposit $50, you’ll receive another $50, and if you deposit $200, you’ll receive another $200. However, if you deposit $300, you’ll still only receive $200, the maximum amount of bonus funds possible.
Many players believe the no deposit casino bonus is the best type of bonus, as you don’t need to deposit money to claim it. Generally, it’s given as a welcome bonus or a reward for verifying your account. However, no deposit bonuses are often a smaller amount, between $5 and $25, and they have stricter bonus terms. It’s not uncommon to see that it has higher wagering requirements or a lower winnings cap.
Make no mistake, it’s still a very generous bonus, as you’re receiving cash for free, provided you can complete the wagering requirements in time. However, it’s often not as lucrative as a deposit bonus can be, and more difficult to complete all the requirements in the bonus expiry period.
Free spins can be offered to players in many different promotions, either on its own or with bonus funds. It can either be a deposit bonus, an extra on a matched deposit bonus, or no deposit free spins. It depends on the reason the free spins are given. Often, it is given as a no deposit bonus when it’s part of the welcome bonus, or sometimes even when it’s part of a New Game bonus. This encourages players to familiarize themselves with the gaming platform or try out a newly released game.
Free spins have a set value, generally the smallest bet amount in the casino games, falling between $0.01 and $0.50. The winnings of free spins are the funds players need to wager to complete the wagering requirements. Free spins have a shorter bonus expiry period than other bonuses, falling between 24 hours and 48 hours. The free spins winnings have a longer bonus expiry period, falling between seven days to two weeks or one month.
Many casinos encourage their players to use the mobile casino apps and offer mobile-specific promotions. These promotions can range from a special no deposit bonus when you download and register on the app to reload bonuses. At times, you’ll even see entirely different promotions listed on the app than on the web-based platform.
Another benefit is that casino apps can offer cashback rewards. The cashback percentage differs depending on the casino, and sometimes it’s linked to the loyalty program. However, most casino apps offer some type of cashback reward, making it even more lucrative to play on your mobile.
Many casino apps have unique loyalty programs, offering more benefits to loyal players who invest in the app. It can range from higher cashback, reward points, or VIP tiers. Players must complete certain conditions to become part of the loyalty program. Another factor many casino apps offer is birthday bonuses. It’s often a no deposit free reward for playing at the casino, and it’s easier on the app to notify you of this freebie.
At times, it’s as simple as depositing and wagering on games to receive reward points. There is often a Rewards Shop where you can exchange those points for specific bonuses or other benefits. Those reward points can be converted into real money, as long as you reach the required amount.
On occasions, you have to meet a minimum deposit amount per month to reach a certain VIP tier. The higher you climb in the VIP levels, the more benefits you receive. It ranges from higher withdrawal limits, lower wagering requirements, personal account manager, or extra bonuses. You need to maintain that minimum deposited amount each month with VIP tiers. Otherwise, you can be bumped back down to a lower tier. VIP casinos are perfect for high roller players.
Evaluating Criteria Of The Best Casino Apps
As online casinos strive to offer players what they want, more and more casino apps are released each year. It can become overwhelming knowing which app is worth downloading and playing. We looked into the different casino apps and evaluated them according to the below criteria. This is to conduct an accurate review of the apps and compile a list of the best casino apps.
License, Security, And Fairness
As casino apps are just an extension of an online casino, they should also hold the same license as the online casino does. We look for the online casino to hold a license, as they are regulated for fair conduct by the licensing authority. There are many different types of licenses available, whether a US license or an offshore license.
Seven states in the US offer an online gambling license. They are Delaware, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. These licenses all have different regulations according to state laws and are only allowed to offer their services to players in the state. The only exception is if it’s a social casino.
There are also offshore casinos, which are licensed by another country’s gambling authority. Some of the more well-known ones are UK Gambling Commission, Malta, Curacao, Gibraltar and Panama. We also look to see if the casino uses a testing agency to prove their games aren’t rigged. Testing agencies test the RNG of games and sometimes also the RTP percentages.
Additionally, the casino app should use data encryption programs to ensure player data is secure. This includes offering secure payment portals and SSL encryption.
When speaking about compatibility, we first look at whether the app is available on both iOS and Android devices. It should be available on the App Store or the Google Play Store, as this means it’s a verified and secure app. Some casinos offer a download link for the app on their website, but you can’t guarantee it is secure.
We also look at how user-friendly the interface is. It should be easy to navigate, with navigation bars, buttons, a search bar, and provider filters. The appearance should also be easy on the eye so that players can easily read the text and play the games even on a smaller screen.
Games and Software
While we love casino apps that have hundreds of different casino games including slots and table games, we also want top quality games available. Having quality games from big-name providers such as Microgaming, NetEnt and RealTime Gaming, means you will have a better playing experience. Many casino apps also offer a live casino lobby where you can play live dealer casino games like online roulette, online baccarat, online poker, and online blackjack.
It’s also a plus if the app allows demo play, as this means you can test the games before risking your bankroll. Demo play means you can play the free version of the game, but it’s simply to familiarize yourself with the gameplay, and you can’t win any real money.
When it comes to customer service, we believe the more support channels, the better. The best support channel is having a 24/7 live chat, which allows you easy access to a support agent. Another channel is having a support email or a phone line. Some casino apps also have social media pages where you can see the latest news and use private messenger to reach support.
An FAQ section and tutorials also go a long way to support players who just started playing at the casino app. We also believe that offering responsible gaming tools is essential for online casinos. Several different tools help you control your gambling habits. It includes session and personal limits, reality checks, a cool-off period, and self-exclusion.
When you’re playing on casino apps, there’s often a larger variety of casino payment methods available. You can deposit and withdraw using Visa or Mastercard and sometimes even American Express and Discover. If it’s a US-based casino, they might even offer a Play+ card, where you can load money on and then deposit it into the app.
PayPal is probably one of the most popular e-wallets for US players to use, but casinos will often offer others like Skrill, Neteller, and EcoPayz. If you rather want to use online banking, bank or wire transfers are available, along with ACH transfers. However, if you don’t want to make a payment online, US-based casinos often offer another alternative, PayNearMe. You go to an affiliated establishment like 7-Eleven or CVS and make a cash deposit or withdrawal. Note that this method often has fees attached.
The standard withdrawal times we look for are 24 hours for cryptocurrencies, one to three days for e-wallets, two to five days for cards, and two to seven days for online banking. We also consider the casino’s processing times, which shouldn’t be longer than 24 hours in normal cases.
How to Download and Bet Using Casino Apps
Depending on the state you live in, you need to be either 18 or 21 years of age to register at any of the apps on our list of the best casino apps.
- Step 1: Find the app on the App Store or Google Play Store and click download
- Step 2: Enter your details to create your account
- Step 3: Read the bonus terms of the welcome bonus
- Step 4: Click on the cashier and choose your deposit method
- Step 5: Enter the details of your payment method and deposit at least the minimum required amount
- Step 6: Choose the game you want to play and set your bet
- Step 7: With the click of a button, start spinning the reels or rolling the dice
Mobile Gambling Apps
With online gambling picking up speed, mobile gambling and casino apps naturally seem like the next step. Casino providers improve their casino software and technology each year, and the gaming platforms become easier and more exciting to use. With the benefit of gaming on the go and ease of access, casino apps are starting to pick up steam. We looked at the various casino apps available to US players and evaluated them using the above criteria. We did a comprehensive review of each app, its services, offerings, and layout to compile a list of the best casino apps.