A Beginner’s Guide To Mobile Casinos

The mobile casino industry can be incredibly overwhelming for new players, which is why we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to mobile casinos to ease some of the uncertainty and confusion you may feel about registering and playing at a mobile casino, particularly in regards to safety and security. So, if you’re new to mobile casinos, check out our beginner’s guide right here.

The Basics

In today’s modern world, there are hundreds of mobile-friendly casinos that allow you to gamble real money online. We refer to these casinos as mobile casinos. These websites are all run by different operators, who handle the day-to-day operations of the mobile casino, including payment processing, customer support and much more.

There are dozens of mobile gambling operators available in the UK and beyond, and some of the largest operators include:

  • SkillOnNet
  • Genesis Global
  • White Hat Gaming Limited
  • LeoVegas
  • Jumpman Gaming
  • 888 Holdings

The above operators run various mobile casinos, all of which come in different themes and designs, but are all mobile-friendly, which means you can play at them on smartphones as well as desktop computers and tablets.

Despite the differences, Mobile casinos offer a wide variety of content and you’ll likely find dozens if not hundreds of games to play and enjoy.

The Games

In addition to having varying designs and themes, mobile casinos will all offer a diverse range of casino content that is provided by game developers, some of whom also supply land-based casinos and betting shops via slot machines.

The games available at mobile casinos will vary; some mobile casinos specialise in only offering a certain type of games, while others provide you with a slew of mixed content. What’s more, the number of games available at mobile casinos will vary as some mobile casinos will have hundreds and others thousands.

Regardless of how many games are available, it’s guaranteed that you’ll find online slots; online-style traditional slots and modern-day five-reel slots, both of which are the most simple type of video slots to play and get started with. However, there are other types of slots, including those built on new groundbreaking engines like Cluster Pays and MegaWays, which offer new gameplay mechanics and special features but are best suited for experienced players.

In addition to slots, game studios also create or provide other types of casino games like online scratch cards, bingo and table games, which are modern online versions of classic casino games such as:

You can also play live casino games – titles that combine online play with a near-brick-and-mortar experience. In live casino games, real-life dealers are recorded and streamed in real-time from a studio playing a table game, and you and other players play with them as you would at a brick-and-mortar casino. You can watch the dealer and interact with them and other players over the internet through a chat function.

Generally speaking, there are many similarities between online and land-based casino games, but there are differences in the gameplay and rules depending on the variation you’re playing, particularly when it comes to live casino games. What’s more, games will also have varying return to player (RTP) rates, which suggest the percentage of total money wagered on a specific type of slot or game that will be paid back to players over a sustained period of play, and these are usually higher than whatever the payout percentage would be for land-based games.

Playing Mobile Casino Games

Generally speaking, there are two ways of playing mobile casino games on all smartphones and tablets. While both allow you to play fun games, there are some key differences between them that you’ll need to learn:

  • Through dedicated apps: These are apps you can download to your smartphone that allow you to play mobile casino games in a dedicated environment. However, these apps take up storage space on your device and you may need to download more than one to access different content of a casino like traditional games and sports betting.
  • In your smartphone’s browser: These are casinos that you access through your smartphone’s internet browser by loading up the website. Playing in your smartphone’s browser does not take up storage on your device.

To play real money casino games, you will need to register at a mobile casino. We recommend that you avoid registering at any mobile casino and instead ensure that the mobile casino is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the regulatory body which oversees all things online and offline gambling.

Our list of mobile casino reviews is one of the best ways to ensure you’re playing at a UK-licensed mobile casino as all of the casinos we’ve reviewed by our team are fully licensed in the UK, which means they are 100% safe for you to play at as someone in the UK.

The Safety Of Mobile Gambling

We understand that one of the major roadblocks to playing at a mobile casino is concern about safety. However, mobile casinos, particularly those licensed by the UKGC, are completely safe to play at because of the following reasons:

  • Player Protection: Mobile casinos must meet the UKGC’s strict standards for player and data protection and must utilise high-quality SSL encryption.
  • Fair Gaming: The UKGC’s policies require licensees to provide players with fair games, which means random number generators (RNGs), the technology behind casino games, must be regulated and tested for fairness.
  • Player Funds Separated: The UKGC requires licensees to ensure that mobile casino operators keep player funds in a separate account from their operating cash reserves so that if anything were to happen, players do not lose their funds.
  • Operator Accountability: Players can freely contact the UKGC and inform them of any issues regarding a mobile gambling operator, who will then investigate the complaint.

All these factors help players stay safe when playing at mobile casinos. However, if you choose to play at a mobile casino that isn’t licensed by the UKGC, you risk having your data misused, your money lost and can run into other, more dangerous issues.

How Is Gambling Regulated Worldwide?

One of the ways you are kept safe when gambling online is through organisations that heavily regulate the industry. These organisations, like the UKGC, licence casinos, set out rules and policies for them to follow and enforce action should they fail to do so. Some of the most well-known gambling regulatory bodies worldwide are:

There are plenty more organisations that regulate other regions around the world, but the UK Gambling Commission is arguably one of the largest and most successful. It’s also known for being one of the strictest, as the UKGC has enforced numerous changes onto the industry, including banning mobile casinos from accepting credit cards as a payment method in April 2020.

The organisation, like all others, also punishes casinos for failing to adhere to its rules. It previously fined operator 888 UK Limited £9.4million in March 2022 after an investigation revealed social responsibility and money laundering failings. Similarly, Genesis Global Limited was suspended from operating in Britain for three months in 2020 and later fined £3.8m for the same reasons.

While the other organisations we’ve listed work to protect players too, you should only register at a mobile casino if it’s licensed for the jurisdiction you’re located in, such as the UKGC for players in the UK. Registering with a mobile casino that is not licensed for your jurisdiction, even if it’s licensed by other trustworthy organisations, is dangerous and incredibly risky for reasons we explained above.

Winnings And How They’re Paid

All mobile casinos require a deposit before you can play anything, although there are exceptions to this in the case of no deposit bonuses. Making a deposit is an easy process, although mobile casinos vary in which payment methods they accept – you can check which methods are accepted by scrolling to the footer of the casino or reading our mobile casino reviews.

If you’ve been lucky enough to make a win, you’re naturally going to want to withdraw the funds, a process which is slightly more complicated and time-consuming than making a deposit. First of all, a mobile casino may pay out winnings either as a lump sum or in instalments, depending on the game, the site you play at, and the amount won.

Secondly, the payment methods accepted for withdrawals will vary as casinos may accept a method for deposits, but not withdrawals. What’s more, mobile casinos in the UK require that withdrawals are always made to the same payment method used to make the deposit, unless that payment method is no longer available for withdrawals. In the case of the latter, you must choose an alternative payment method.

Thirdly, the time it takes for mobile casinos to process will depend on the method you use, as some like PayPal can be done within a few hours and others take several business days.  Finally, some mobile casinos may also charge fees that are deducted from your total winnings and all of this can negatively affect your overall winnings and experience playing at these mobile casinos, which is why it’s important to read up on these in our reviews or on the mobile casino website before registering.

Lock Withdrawals

Some casinos will offer you the ability to lock your withdrawals, which prevents you or casino staff from reversing or cancelling them. This can be helpful to users, particularly when combating problem gambling, although we must admit not many mobile casinos offer this option. More information can be found in our guide to lock withdrawals.

Our Tips For New Mobile Casino Gamers

Even with all the help we’ve provided you above, being new to mobile casino gaming is still incredibly stressful and overwhelming, which is why we’ve decided to provide you with some additional tips:

  • Use a welcome bonus: Most mobile casinos offer welcome bonuses to new players, which are funds or spins on slots that you can use to start playing. These UK casino bonuses are great for checking out a new casino or game without too much risk.
  • Play high RTP games: Generally speaking, the higher the RTP of a game, the higher chance you have of making a win.
  • Read the small print: Always read the terms and conditions and all information available so you’re aware of any fees that may be charged for deposits and withdrawals, and any conditions of a bonus that may need to be fulfilled, such as wagering requirements.
  • Gamble responsibly: Make sure you gamble responsibly by setting a budget and a time limit for your sessions, taking regular breaks and never playing when you are intoxicated or feeling emotional as that could lead to regretful decisions.

The four tips above will help to make your gambling experiences memorable as well as safe.

Responsible Gambling Help

Gambling problems are a serious issue that everyone, regardless of how much they play, should be aware of. Thankfully, most mobile casinos today offer several tools and services to keep track of your gambling activity, including deposit, time and loss limits as well as reminders and reality checks.

Mobile casinos in the UK must also be members of the self-exclusion service GamSTOP, a program that lets you self-exclude yourself from online gambling. Most banks now allow their customers to block gambling transactions from their accounts too, preventing you from spending excessively.

By using these tools, you may be able to prevent gambling addictions and overspending while playing. If you need additional assistance or would like more information on these organisations, check out our responsible gambling guide.

Ultimately, we hope that you play the games you enjoy, stay safe, and just have fun! After all, that’s what gambling is all about!