Mobile Casinos Ready for the Mainstream?

Being a keen slots player myself and having played what must be getting on for 100 online casinos or so over the past 8 or 9 years, I was recently asked to do some reviews of mobile casinos for Mobile Casinos FAQ, a job which I was only too happy to undertake not only because I benefitted financially but also because I just got a new iPad and was genuinely intrigued to see how they have progressed.

I first tried some mobile slots back around 2008 when they first came onto the scene and before tablets were prominent. I seem to remember being on a Nokia (9200?) at the time and it wasn’t what I would have called a pleasant experience. Not just because of the small screen but also back then, Internet connectivity while you were on the move was a bit flaky.

That side of things has improved obviously but it’s the advent of the tablet that is really the game changer. It finally means that mobile games look playable without squinting and with HTML5 allowing developers the ability to develop their games for Apple’s anti-Flash iOS platform alongside the more amenable Android o/s and even Windows 8 and beyond.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good as I found out while playing a number of the mobile casinos listed here over a period of 3 months or so in early 2013. The software on these was generally developed by Microgaming, Playtech and IGT who all have a solid history in gambling game development and in IGT’s case in land-based slots too.

The bottom line I discovered is simply that while the technology has vastly improved, the games look good and accessibility is less of an issue than it was while physically mobile, the mobile casinos themselves aren’t yet a substitute for the more traditional “PC” or browser-based online casinos. Nowhere near in fact.

The main reason for this is clearly that the development is in it’s infancy. While the PC-based casinos have all the bells and whistles and a huge choice of games, the mobile csinos are still limited to basic functionality (lack of autoplay etc) and a much, much smaller inventory. As a player, this generally means a mobile casino right now will probably have one or two games you like but when you get bored of those or fancy a change, the games choice simply isn’t there like on your 400-game PC casino.

Another slight annoyance is the way you have to hold a tablet while a PC is static. This is fine in short bursts but when you need two hands to hold it and spin buttons and interact, after a while, it starts to become a tad ache-y unless you have somewhere to rest it up.

As for the games that are there I have to say that they are pretty damn good. As good as the PC equivalents in terms of aesthetics and game-play but with the caveat that some developers still need to tweak the way you interact (spinning a slot by swiping is fine and novel for a while but soon gets tiresome, for example).

So all in all? There is  alot of promise and mobile casinos will definitely emerge to challenge their PC counterparts in time but that time is still some way away. Personally, I would play the PC-based casinos every time with maybe the odd 30 minutes playing a specific game on my iPad if I couldn’t be bothered to get up and turn the PC on. And on a smartphone? Forget it.