Online casino gaming continues to go from strength to strength. In the UK in 2020, online gaming overtook brick-and-mortar casinos and bookmakers to make up 52.3% of the market. Of the £3.1bn revenue generated by online wagering from April to September 2020, casino games made up £1.9bn. That’s 61% of the online market, almost a third of the total gaming market (£5.9bn), and hot on the heels of the National Lottery ticket sales (£3.9bn).
For some gamers, it’s about convenience. Some don’t live near a physical casino. For others, it’s about a wider variety of games offered – if one had a preferred video slot machine, say, that their local casino didn’t have, or if one fancied playing Slingo – a hybrid of slot machines and bingo that’s only really viable in a computerised format. A powerful iOS device can handle all of these games without lagging, giving that real casino feel in the comfort of the player’s own home.
However, don’t just dive into the first online casino you find. There are a few factors to be weighed up in deciding where’s the best place to play.
The internet is no longer the Wild West it once was, and the vast majority of people will be more than used to spending money online. While Apple devices are generally more secure than their Android counterparts, don’t be complacent. Make sure you’ve updated the operating system to the most recent version of iOS to upgrade protections and eliminate bugs. In the UK, many casino sites have official apps which can be downloaded directly from Apple Store. Check you’re comfortable with the method of depositing and receiving payments. Most reputable sites and apps will accept (and remunerate to) bank transfers and credit cards, but some will also allow you to use PayPal and Skrill. Whichever you decide, make the safe bet.
Think about what games you like to play. If you’re big on bingo, have a look around to see which site has the most games. Consider your technology. Online casino gaming has been around for over two decades – the first online poker hand was dealt in 1998, eight years before the iPhone debuted – and as technology has progressed, the games have also become more complex. The Megaways games on Gala Casino include popular titles such as Rainbow Riches Megaways. These games have many more ways to win than a standard slot, but they do take up a lot of screen space with six reels across the main screen and another four running horizontally across the top. What might be fine on an iPad or iPhone 12 might be somewhat cramped on an iPhone 5 or SE. Some sites now run live game shows, which necessitates having a fast and stable internet connection, lest you start lagging behind the action.
Much like brick-and-mortar casinos, online casinos value loyalty and want to keep their players happy. While there are no partnerships with delivery services to send a cocktail waitress to your couch (yet), many sites will offer VIP points giving access to exclusive promos, bonuses and cashback offers. Keep an eye out for timed promotions and welcome bonuses. Some sites will offer these over their whole portfolio, some will do it by game type – if one site is offering 25% across the board and another is offering 50% on your specific game of choice, then that makes picking the winner somewhat easier.
The online casino market – like many others now, given the amount of choice that the internet has brought – can seem somewhat crowded, and perhaps a little daunting at first glance. If we think of picking a provider like we do our iOS device, it may help. Does it meet my needs? Is it secure? Can I see features that are useful to me now, and am I confident that it will have enough room to grow with me in future, or do I think it’ll be obsolete in a year? We wouldn’t buy a phone or a tablet without checking its provenance. Applying the same rules to an online casino is always favourite