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Mobile browsers versus dedicated apps

There are two main ways in which you can play the latest casino slots on your smartphone or tablet computer. The first is by simply pointing your mobile browser (such as Safari, Chrome, or Firefox) to an online casino via its URL or web address – or by simply searching for your chosen brand on Google and tapping the link. From there, you can do everything you would normally do at an online casino: sign up for a new account, claim a welcome bonus, make a deposit, withdraw your winnings, and, most importantly, play hundreds of great games.

Previously, these games would have been created in Adobe’s Flash software. However, these are largely a thing of the past, especially since Steve Jobs (the late co-founder of Apple) famously refused to support the aging software on the iPhone and iPad. This led the industry to go all-in on HTML5 technology, which drastically improved game accessibility, performance, and reliability. It is now the standard and most games providers use it in their titles.

The other option is to download casino apps from either Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. Not every brand has created these, as they require a lot of development and support, plus HTML5 games played via browsers have largely cornered the market. Nevertheless, if your brand has dedicated apps, you can find out how to download them on the site’s Mobile page. The chief advantage of these apps is that they run smoothly and often have a better layout of all the main controls you’ll need. Having said that, the way sites adapt to whatever screen size they are accessed from now, and the development of HTML5 games, has narrowed the playing field. 

Game selection versus desktop versions

The thing that has yet to catch up with the old-school paradigm is that there are not as many casino games available for mobile players as there are for those using laptops and desktops. Having said that, most of the large game providers (such as NetEnt, Microgaming, and Playtech, for example) produce all of their new slots and progressive jackpots in HTML5, so that you can play them on any given device. Furthermore, some of the plucky upstart companies that provide some of the most innovative titles around (such as Yggrasil, Play’n GO, and NextGen) also ensure that their new releases are available on desktop, smartphone, and tablet.

Therefore, we would be shocked if any major release in the last five years or so wasn’t available on iOS or Android devices in one form or another. It’s only when a game is starting to show its age that you might find that it is only available in the outed Flash format or simply not accessible from a mobile device – however, this mainly tends to be ancient table games rather than slots. Also, many companies are updating their most popular older titles to the HTML5 standard.

Updating older games for mobile players

Slot games that have truly stood the test of time and remain almost as popular now as they used to be back in the day (we’re thinking of classics such as Cleopatra, Avalon II, and the progressive jackpot slot Mega Moolah here) have all been fully updated in recent years. This means that mobile players don’t have to miss out on any of the retro fun. So, as we said above, there really aren’t too many restrictions when it comes to playing slots on mobile. Yes, the screen real estate can be a little cramped at times, but the advantages of having a few spins whenever you’re killing time from a device that fits into your pocket far outweighs this factor.

  • A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.

    Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.

  • If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.

    Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.

  • The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.

    The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.

  • An SSL-encrypted website should be mandatory for any casino, and very few casinos operate without this or similar safe encryption features. Always keep in mind that you are giving the casino quite a bit of sensitive information, including your payment details. When you’re uploading and sending documents to verify your identity, you want to make sure that no unauthorized third-party has access to them. Site security, therefore, doesn’t only include the website itself but also what the casino does on the backend. You should always look into a casino’s data security. You’ll normally find information about this in their terms and conditions and their privacy policy. If in doubt, contact their support and ask for more detailed information.

    Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.

  • The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.

    The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.

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