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Learn more about mobile casinos

The basic concept of mobile casinos is simple enough, they are more or less the casino site you already know and love, but now accessible on your phone or tablet device. But once you take a peek under the hood, you will find that the best mobile casino websites have a lot more going on that separates them from their desktop counterparts.

 

What makes us mobile casino experts?

As online gambling enthusiasts, we at InsideCasino have gained a pretty solid grasp on what separates the best Canadian mobile casino from the rest. We do this through first-hand testing by our expert reviewers, who download and play mobile casino apps with our own money to get the most accurate player experience.

 

What is a mobile casino?

A mobile casino is, simply put, an online casino that is designed to work well on a mobile device. This kind of optimisation is needed since smartphones and tablets run on different software (iOS and Android) compared to desktop and laptop computers (Windows and MacOS). As we will see further on in the guide, there are different ways for operators to approach making a gambling site for mobile or a casino app. Regardless, the goal is to ensure players get a fast and smooth mobile gambling experience.

 

What can you play in a mobile casino?

One of the big draws of mobile casinos nowadays is that they can support just about all of the games that were previously only available online. Some of the most popular options among mobile casino players in Canada include:

 

Why go mobile?

The rise of gambling from your mobile phone a testament to how far technology has come. Modern smartphones and tablets now make it possible for any Canadian player to visit their favourite mobile casino site from just about anywhere and play for a few minutes or a few hours. This makes playing on the go seamless nowadays.

Now, it should be clear to anyone reading this guide, that mobile casinos are an online gambling option the same way that a pizza is a lunch option. You don’t need to feel pressured to stick to playing on mobile since you can just as easily play on the same sites on your computer.

 

How do mobile casinos work?

Fundamentally, mobile casinos are not very different from the typical Canadian casino site. They are a service that lets Canadians play slots and other gambling games for real money. The only major difference between the two is their presentation, as mobile gambling apps are contained in software designed for iOS or Android devices. To make this possible, mobile casinos provide games, payment services and customer support. If you want to learn more about these underlying systems work, we discuss it in more detail our top online casinos page.

 

Web-based Mobile Casinos

Web-based mobile casinos put together all of the needed software on a web page that players can access on their smartphone or tablet, which are essentially the same as the casino sites you play on your computer. This is made possible thanks to HTML5, which is now the standard framework all new casino websites and it makes it easier to deliver and display games and services like online payments to create no download mobile casino sites.

One quick look at our list of recommended Canadian mobile casinos will show that the web-based approach is the more popular option among operators. The reason for this comes down to cost. The casino software costs money to make and maintain, so having a mobile version of the casino you already have, often ends up being much cheaper than creating and licensing a new mobile casino app from scratch.

One of our picks for a great web-based phone casino is Arcanebet CA, which offers an excellent gaming experience even on the cramped screen of a smartphone. Its thoughtful mobile site design gives it a level of quality comparable to that of a dedicated casino app.

 

Real money mobile casino apps

The other approach to making a mobile app in Canada would be to make real money casino apps. These are programs that contain most of the visible parts of the casino that you can download and store on your smartphone or tablet. Before real money casino sites became viable for mobile, casino apps were the best option available for most operators, and still find appeal today with many of the older and larger casino brands.

Casino apps also have a bit of a benefit over their web counterparts for some Canadian casino players. The reason comes down to how the gambling app needs to be downloaded before it can be used, since the player already has most of the casino assets on their phone after the download. This is true for both Apple and Android which is important with their market share in Canada being pretty evenly split. Statista reported, in QTR 2 of 2022, that Apple held a 57% marketshare of the overall smartphone market in Canada.

 

Android casino apps

Android casino apps are ones made to work on the Android operating system used by the majority of smartphones and tablets nowadays. Some of these casino apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, but are often provided by casino operators as a direct download on their websites. Pokerstars Casino CA is a good example of a mobile casino you can download.

 

iPhone casino apps

If you own an iPhone or an iPad, iOS casino apps are the option available to you. Unlike their Android counterparts, iPhone casino apps in Canada can only be downloaded through the Apple App Store due to Apple’s policies. 888 Casino is one brand that offers a mobile casino download on the App store.

 

What makes the best mobile casino?

The “best mobile casino” has always been a nebulous title, as so many aspects of the online gambling experience are dictated by personal experience. Ask 10 different people what the best mobile casino is, and you are likely to get closer to 10 answers than 1.

That said, there are a few common qualities shared by the mobile casino sites and apps that are considered to be a cut above the rest. Having valid licensing and good security are, of course, core requirements, but beyond this there are three major aspects that we look for before we fully recommend a mobile casino:

 

Mobile Casino Games

Having a large library of high-quality games is kind of a given for any Canadian mobile casino, but making sure all of it runs well on mobile devices is another major concern. Having a good variety that includes mobile jackpot games gives players what they want, but any performance issues encountered while playing these games can severely impact the overall mobile casino experience.

 

Usability

The smoothness of a mobile casino’s games is very strongly tied to its overall usability, as badly designed websites can either make it hard to find games or introduce unnecessary weight on the site that can cause the games to lag. All of our online casino reviews dive deep into testing usability to determine if a site is built well enough to be worth recommending.

 

Payments

Even though payment processors are a dime a dozen nowadays, it is still up to the casino operator to include them into their mobile site. This is especially important for Canadian players as a large chunk use a handful of payment processors (Interac being the most dominant one).

 

The best casino banking options on mobile

From your camera to your map, smartphones and tablets have been able to assimilate an entire backpack’s worth of equipment into the palm of your hand. And with the rise of mobile banking and payments, wallet duty, too, has been partly taken over by mobile devices.

For Canadian players, there is a wide range of banking options that are accessible on mobile, either through an app or through SMS. Some of the most popular of these payment methods are listed below.

  • Apple Pay: The first-party payment processor for all Apple devices, Apple Pay casinos offer one of the fastest and most convenient mobile payment methods out there but they are very difficult to find in Canada due to licensing restrictions.
  • Bitcoin: The Canada bitcoin casino scene is becoming popular. Although bitcoin wallets can still be a bit cumbersome on mobile devices, we have added to our list because advancement in it’s technology makes it only a matter of time before it is a front-runner.
  • Gigadat: When it comes to mobile, Gigadat casino sites offer a pillar of online and mobile payments in Canada. No casino worth their salt would open to Canadian players without including this transfer service because it facilitates the popular Interac service.
  • Google Pay: Originally made to handle simple in-app purchases on mobile games and software, the Android-native Google Pay service has expanded to cover all manner of mobile payments, including online casinos.
  • Instadebit: Instadebit is another e-transfer service that is popular with Canadian players. Casinos with Instadebit give players a more controlled and old-school way to top-up their accounts with their secure technology.
  • Interac: Players are often searching for a casino with Interac, in part because of its reputation for security and in part because of how quick and swift its processing is. One of the oldest payment methods for mobile out there, but still one of the most popular.

 

Can you deposit by phone bill?

Although it hasn’t quite caught on yet in Canada, another option that is gaining traction is the pay by phone casino. This is a payment scheme that uses a third-party payment processor to charge payments made on your phone to your phone bill.

As you can expect, pay by phone can be used to deposit money on mobile gambling sites that support this, and there are some benefits here as well. The biggest one is convenience; having a pay by phone bill scheme means you can clear your online casino purchases and your phone bill in one sweep, eliminating the need for any other payment methods. And because cell companies generally don’t allow much more than your current plan to be charged to your account, your pay by SMS purchases are limited by design, which can help curb spending.

Of course, the key here is that the payment system has to be supported in the first place, which, in Canada, it simply isn’t yet. While there are payment processors like Boku that enable pay by phone, there aren’t any cell networks in Canada that allow this in the first place.

Until then, Canadian players will have to make do with the many, many alternatives we have reviewed in our list of mobile casinos sites above.

 

Our favourite mobile casino platforms

Much like their desktop counterparts, many casino operators turn to software providers to handle most of the core systems of their mobile casinos. These mobile platforms also come in a range of styles and feature sets, with a few notable examples listed below:

  • Evolution Gaming: There is no doubt, that Evolution casinos have the best live gaming product, hands down. Their technology now works extremely well on mobile devices, made easier by the ever growing size of smartphone screens, which makes it easier to play live dealer games on the go.
  • Light & Wonder: Having recently rebranded from the infamous Scientific Gaming, Light & Wonder casinos are on a resurgence. Along with the new brand, comes a new game portfolio and much-needed platform update.
  • Microgaming: Despite already claiming the title of being the first mobile casino software developer, casinos with Microgaming still haven’t lost their touch and continue to benefit from both backend software and high-quality games to mobile casinos across Canada.

 

The best mobile casino: Jackpot City Casino

We at InsideCasino have already heaped our praise on the Jackpot City Casino for their excellent desktop experience, but we find that this has managed to translate to the mobile experience.

Part of the magic behind why Jackpot City mobile casino is great is that they are one of the few casino sites that have a dedicated mobile app. In a market that is filled to the brim with web-based mobile casinos, the Jackpot City Casino app provides bonus perks and buttery-smooth performance on iOS and Android devices alike.

 

Mobile casinos and responsible gaming

Despite the slightly different and more convenient format, mobile casinos are available 24/7 from the convenience of your phone, so responsible gaming practices are even more important. While the big jackpots being dangled in front of you make it very tempting to try to win back losses, doing this will only guarantee more losses.

A good way to approach playing a mobile casino is to think of the experience as a purchase like, say, a concert ticket. The act of you paying for it means you leave the concert with less money than you came in; but you enjoy it anyway because of the entertainment value of that concert.

Applying this same logic to gambling can help keep you from slipping into unintended losses since you know you are simply paying for the privilege to play these casino games and not doing so to win.

 

Our thoughts on mobile casinos

Mobile casinos have proven themselves to be far more than just slightly adjusted versions of their PC-focused counterparts. As you can see from our list of the best mobile casino sites, the shift to a mobile platform has created all sorts of possibilities to innovate and go beyond what the industry already offers.

While they are certainly not for everyone, mobile casinos have become a compelling online gambling option in Canada and is definitely worth a try at least once even if you are fully decided on staying on desktop.

 

Mobile casino pros & cons

Mobile casinos have come into their own as an online gambling option, especially over the past 3 years or so. As such, a lot of Canadian players have had to face the choice of whether to stick to mobile or play on an online casino.

Of course, we should always keep in mind that choosing how you want to play is a matter of personal preference and you will never be locked out of playing on a desktop later if mobile turns out to be inconvenient at the time. To help you decide, we’ve laid out a few key pros and cons of mobile casinos below.

Pros

  • Play when you want, where you want: The main draw of all mobile casinos can be found right in the name. As long as you have a smartphone or tablet and a decent enough connection to the Internet, you can log into your favourite casino site and start playing on your own terms.
  • Convenient payments: Modern mobile phones have an app for just about everything at this point, and payment processors definitely count among them. Thanks to payment apps and even mobile-exclusive payment platforms like Apple Pay, depositing and withdrawing funds to and from your mobile casino account has never been easier.
  • Exclusive content: In an attempt to gain an edge over competing sites, some casino sites in Canada have opted to create and release exclusive content for mobile players. This content typically comes in the form mobile casino bonuses, but can also include things like app-only features, among others.

Cons

  • Too easy to access: Mobile casinos are easy to find in Canada, then open and play and all of that is by design. However, this convenience can make the ‘phone casino’ more difficult to avoid, especially if the player is attempting to self-exclude or otherwise fix their gambling habits.
  • Mobile interface issues: Although mobile touchscreens are a very flexible way for users to interact with casino sites, they don't really work for all players. This content typically comes in the form of bonuses, but can also include things like app-only features, among others.

Mobile casino FAQs

Are mobile casinos legal in Canada?

Yes, mobile casinos are legal in Canada in the same way as a normal online casino site on your computer. Of course, this does not mean all mobile casinos are automatically legal—mobile casino sites still have to comply with Canadian and international laws if they want to be on the right side of the law.

Can I gamble on my phone with real money?

Yes, you can gamble on your phone with real money at a mobile casino. These sites have all of the same features, games, and real money payment methods as a casino site on your computer, now accessible from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet.

Do I need to download an app to play mobile casinos?

Thanks to web-based mobile casino sites, you don't need to download an app to play on mobile casinos. However, there are still some websites out there that have a downloadable app, although even in these cases Canadian players can use the casino site just the same.

What are the best deposit methods on mobile?

The best deposit methods for casino on mobile is e-wallets, including Gigadat, Interac and iDebit. Some countries allow the players to make transactions directly to their mobile phone bill, but although this is convenient, it is also risky due to it being easy to significantly run up your phone bill.

Can I use the same casino account on my computer and my phone?

Since the credentials (username/email and password) for your account is fixed, you can use the same account on both your computer and your phone and retain access to your funds and any existing game progress.

Can I get bonuses for playing at a mobile casino?

You can get bonuses for playing at a mobile casino and these bonuses are the same as the ones on the desktop version. Some casino operators may also offer certain bonuses exclusively for Canadian players on mobile.

Can I play mobile casino games for free?

Yes, you can play most mobile casino games for free through free play versions of the games on offer at these sites.

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