Australian players have been enjoying online casino games on their PCs and Macs for many years. Some of the most highly regarded online casinos in the world have been available to Aussies for over a decade – All Slots Casino was launched in 2000, for example, and could even be considered somewhat young compared to others on our list of recommended online casinos. Such companies have had plenty of time to develop and mature over this period, but the game is changing and many mobile casinos find themselves in the same position All Slots Casino was in during its formative years. For the record, All Slots Mobile Casino was launched in 2005, although only now is it reaping the benefits of Australian players switching to their mobile devices as technology catches up to the point that full online versions of popular games can be successfully recreated on smaller screens.
While technology is certainly a factor in the growth of mobile casinos, much of the change is due to a change in mindset among players. For an extended period of time, mobile casinos were considered a novelty. The serious online gambling took place on PCs and Macs. Even the casino operators seemed to go along with this assumption and heavily promoted their desktop clients while somewhat ignoring their own mobile casino offerings, or at best treating them as an afterthought. By something of a coincidence, all of the factors are right for mobile casinos to increase in popularity. Players want to play them, devices offer excellent gaming experiences, the majority of Australia can access 3G network coverage and casinos want to push the latest mobile technologies to customers. In many ways, it is the perfect storm.
With a commitment to mobile gaming, players should understand that while many things are the same, there are a number of differences between desktop and mobile casinos that players should prepare themselves for.
Casino operators and software designers would be the first to admit that they are playing catch up to an extent when it comes to mobile games. Even they, with all of their combined experience and expertise, would have been unlikely to forecast the speed at which the market is growing. With every game being custom designed and recoded for mobile use, there is a hard limit on how many and how quickly titles can be released to mobile casinos.
As things stand, even the most advanced mobile casinos, those powered by Microgaming’s Spin 3 software platform, rely on having their games duplicated in such a way that they work equally well on iPhones, iPads, Androids and Blackberries, not to mention a whole host of other devices. As things stand, players at mobile casinos can expect to find no more than twenty titles on offer, regardless of where they play.
Naturally, Microgaming’s mobile development team has made a point of converting the most popular games first, with little consideration given to hardware and software restrictions. After all, the majority of modern mobile devices actually pack more power than many PCs did when All Slots Casino first hit the scene. Players can already enjoy an eclectic mix of pokies and casino classics, including Tomb Raider, Thunderstruck, roulette and blackjack. Microgaming also made a point of figuring out a method of hooking mobile users into the massive Mega Moolah progressive jackpots, which can now also be won at the leading mobile casinos.
While some of the best games are on offer, fans of Microgaming’s less popular titles will need to wait a little longer while they are added to the games catalogue, so players making their first splash in mobile gaming will no doubt be somewhat surprised at the relatively limited range on offer.
While the majority of mobile casino games are faithful to the original, players need to be aware of some hardware limitations that may require them to change their play style somewhat. One example of this concerns blackjack and the popular basic strategy. Some players enjoy playing blackjack online with both the game and the strategy open side by side. Naturally, many players know it off by heart after a few sessions, but those who never commit it to memory need to be aware that while many devices offer multitasking, very few allow for the resizing and repositioning of windows. This makes switching from the game window to the strategy somewhat cumbersome and can even risk the hand timing out if the game window is considered closed.
The moral of this particular observation is that if you need anything else open while playing your favourite online casino game, commit it to memory beforehand or at least print it out.
Fans of the live chat feature will often find that many mobile casinos have not yet implemented it into their software. With online casinos, whether live chat is launched from a browser or the casino program, it generally runs as a separate application – the kind that is not yet widely compatible with mobile devices. Of course, this is a relatively minor issue; if anything major does go wrong then the chances are that you have a phone in your hand anyway! However, it does mean that access to support staff for the redemption of bonus codes or other common activities is restricted, making email the way to go, something which may make the process take slightly longer.
As you can see, overall there is not much to get used to when making the switch from desktop casino software to mobile devices. Aside from smaller screens and a reduced selection of titles, everything else is pretty much as would be expected. Most mobile casinos allow full banking transactions from the mobile site, meaning that you can even cash in your winnings without the need to visit a PC.
Our recommended mobile casinos are at the pinnacle of what is currently available. Royal Vegas Mobile Casino and Jackpot City Mobile Casino come particularly highly recommended owing to their excellent support and bonuses, but each offers something different for the discerning Australian player. With no download required at any of them, there is certainly nothing stopping players from trying each to determine their favourite, particularly with online registration taking a matter of seconds.