Mobile Casino Bonuses
With more and more players using mobile devices as their preferred online gaming method, it’s no surprise that many casinos offer bonuses specifically tied to gaming on a mobile device.
With Online Casino Gems, you can find the best mobile casino bonuses and start making real money on the go. We’ll also help you learn everything you need to know about mobile casino bonuses, from the sign-up process to the most popular mobile casino bonuses. Keep reading for more.
Everything you need to know about Mobile Casino Bonuses
Mobile Casino Bonuses: What You Need to Know
It is a year that will live in infamy—in 2016, mobile web browsing surpassed desktop web browsing. The news took every industry by storm, with businesses of all stripes rushing to optimise for mobile devices and release an app. Any business not going mobile was quickly beginning to look like a dinosaur.
Online casinos have jumped on the mobile bandwagon with a vengeance. Video gambling is perfectly suited for the portability of the online mobile experience. Long line at the bank? Whip out your phone and play a quick spin on your favorite video slot. Long commute on the train or in the passenger seat of a car? Pull out your tablet and bet on a quick game of Keno.
Need to wind down in the hotel after a long day on the road?
Ante up for a quick hand of video poker before you go to bed.
Online casino purveyors love their mobile gamers because they take it upon themselves to place wagers anytime, anywhere, with devices they carry in their pocket. They incentivise that kind of behaviour by offering mobile casino bonuses, which reward players for their mobile gameplay with extended gameplay, free cash, and extra chances to win big.
What Are Mobile Casino Bonuses, Exactly?
Mobile casino bonuses are bonuses casinos offer specifically for gameplay on their mobile apps. Video casino vendors want players making copious use of their mobile app because it encourages them to place bets anytime, anywhere—not just when they are in front of their computers. With their mobile devices, gamers could even place bets at work while the boss isn’t looking, something they can’t do through the firewall installed on their office computer.
Mobile casino bonuses can usually be discovered by checking the casino’s “Bonuses and Promotions” section. You can also find out which casinos offer mobile bonuses on websites that keep track of all bonuses across the online casino landscape, staying up to date on which casinos currently offer the most competitive mobile bonus.
Types of Mobile Casino Bonuses
The menu of mobile casino bonuses available to players looks similar to the menu of options available from desktop browser casinos, but targeted to a mobile audience. You can expect to see the following familiar options in most mobile casinos’ collection of bonuses.
No-deposit bonuses are coveted by players because, as the name suggests, you are not required to make a deposit to unlock the bonus, which might take the form of free spins (see below), free play, or just free bonus cash. It’s great when a mobile casino offers a no-deposit bonus, because without having to make a deposit, you can play games without putting any of your actual money at risk.
Moreover, depositing money into a mobile casino bank makes it subject to Terms & Conditions that can make it hard to get out again … or at least, hard to get it out without forfeiting the bonus cash. Terms & Conditions like wagering requirements and withdrawal maximums still apply to no-deposit bonuses, but at least you didn’t have to deposit any money or bet any of your own money to get them.
The downside of no-deposit bonuses is that they tend to be pretty small—something on the order of £10 in cash or a few free spins.
Free spins may be offered as a no-deposit bonus or as a sweetener for a deposit-match bonus. The spins referred to are spins on video slot games, the most popular and numerous class of game at any online casino. Free spins may be restricted to a single slot game, several slot games, or (in some cases) every slot game on offer at the casino.
Free spins can look deceptively valuable, but it’s important to keep in mind the value of a “spin.” 100 free spins sounds like a nice robust number, but the spins might be limited to the popular slot game Starburst, where the minimum bet is £0.10. The bonus is therefore worth a less-impressive cash value of £10. But hey, 100 is a lot of spins if you love Starburst!
Deposit match bonuses get a lot of love from players for the high cash value—hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Basically, however much money you deposit into your mobile casino bankroll, the mobile casino will match a certain percentage of that deposit, up to a specified £ maximum.
For example, a casino might match 50% of the first and/or second deposits a player makes, up to £500. That means if the player deposits £1,000, the casino will match with £500 for a bankroll of £1,500. If the player deposits only £500, the casino will match only £250; if the player deposits £2,000, the casino will still only match the maximum £500.
Deposit matches of 100% or more are not uncommon. What really gets you with deposit-match bonuses are the Terms & Conditions, especially wagering requirements which mandate that you bet the value of the deposit and the bonus a certain number of times (usually 40x or more) before you can withdraw your bonus cash.
Reload bonuses are usually deposit-match bonuses, sometimes with free spins thrown in, that players get for their second, third, fourth, and/or fifth deposits, encouraging repeat deposits into their bankroll. The second deposit tends to be rewarded modestly—say, 25% of the deposit—but later deposits scale up to a generous 75%, 100%, 150%, even 200% or more. Mobile casinos want you habitually depositing money—all of it subject to Terms & Conditions, of course.
No-wagering bonuses are the holy grail of bonuses, because wagering requirements do not apply to them. They are essentially cashback offers or free play that you can redeem or withdraw immediately as “free money.”
Mobile casinos, as you can imagine, offer these kinds of bonuses scantly, and usually in conjunction with other bonuses that are subject to heavy wagering requirements. Trust us, the casinos don’t put themselves in a position where they will end up behind. The house always wins.
The Advantages of a Mobile Casino Experience
While some mobile casinos offer a limited selection of games, the mobile casino experience has the obvious advantage of being portable. Wherever your day or your life takes you, you can always pull out your mobile device and have a quick wager. It is particularly well-suited to quick games like slots, video Keno, or video blackjack, where rounds can be played quickly while in a line, on a bus, or walking down the street.
Of course, you have to have access to some kind of data—WiFi, 4G LTE, etc. It’s hard to gamble online in the middle of nowhere, with no signal.
How Mobile Casino Bonuses Work
When you find a mobile casino bonus you want to take advantage of, the following steps usually apply:
- Download the casino’s mobile app.
- Create an account. If the bonus is only available to first-time account holders, you may have to pass an identity check to prove that you are a first-time user.
- Some mobile casino bonuses require a special bonus code or promo code to access them. Make sure to check if this is the case for your selected bonus and enter the code on sign-up.
- If your bonus requires a deposit, link an accepted payment method. Common methods include ACH, credit or debit card, mobile wallet (PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, etc.) or cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, etc.)
- Collect your bonus and start playing!
What Games Are Available for Mobile Casino Bonuses?
Some mobile casinos restrict their bonuses to certain games, so make sure to check the Terms & Conditions to see that games you want to play are included in the bonus. Available games include:
By far the most popular class of casino game, both at land-based or online casinos. Mobile casinos typically have a hundred or more video slots of various themes, including:
Video Table Games
These games are classic casino table games in video format. Offerings typically include:
Some mobile casinos offer “live dealer” versions of these games, for players who love the thrill and interaction of live gameplay. Dealers broadcast the results of the deals, spins, and shoots from a studio on the grounds of a land-based casino.
Players may have access to a variety of lottery games, including:
- State-run lotteries.
- Video Keno.
- Video scratchers.
Many online casinos have bingo rooms, which offer a variety of games including:
- 90-Ball Bingo.
- 75-Ball Bingo.
- Video Slingo.
Mobile Casino Frequently Asked Questions
Are mobile casinos safe?
Mobile casinos suffer from the same security threats as other e-commerce websites. If the site does not employ adequate controls or protections, or if you use an untrusted WiFi network with improper encryption on your end, a cybercriminal could eavesdrop on your transactions, install malware, and even steal your identity. Mobile casinos often collect sensitive information to confirm your identity and store payment information.
Make sure that the mobile casino you choose employs security best practices and encryption. One of the easiest ways to do this is to install a security app on your phone. Free security apps are available, as well as stronger ones available for reasonable fees. Be careful of WiFi connections you don’t trust, and consider virtual private networks (VPN) to protect your activity.
Mobile casinos carry certain extra caveats that other e-commerce sites don’t. You aren’t paying money and getting a product or service; you’re depositing money into an online bank that you may or may not use … and if luck (or the random-number-generating software) smiles on you, the casino could be on the hook to pay you a lot of money. Can you trust a mobile casino to pay what it owes, or even release your own money that you deposited into your bankroll if you need it back?
There isn’t an easy answer to this. Understanding why involves understanding that most mobile casinos locate their headquarters and servers in what might be described as an “offshore” jurisdiction. Places like Gibraltar, Cyprus, Guernsey, Curacao, the Kahnawake Indian Nation (an enclave within Canada). These jurisdictions tend to attract mobile casino businesses for several reasons:
- An online gambling licence tends to be easy and cheap to acquire. Basically, these jurisdictions require the company to jump through a few hoops and they get the licence.
- These jurisdictions tend to have taxation laws favourable to businesses like mobile gambling.
- These licensing jurisdictions tend to subject mobile casinos to less scrutiny and oversight than more rigorous jurisdictions.
Maybe you smell the trouble brewing. With less scrutiny and lax licensing, an opening exists for abusive casinos to attract members with a lucrative mobile casino bonus, only to take the money and run. Your home state or country has no jurisdiction in the country of licensure. The casino could continue to operate for a long time, in the face of multiple complaints, before the licensing jurisdiction is spurred into action—extending the amount of time the mobile casino could embezzle money. Sadly, this kind of scam is not unheard of.
The best hedge against this kind of exploitation is to look at the reputation of the mobile casino or its parent company. Many mobile casinos are launched by a small handful of name-brand companies with longevity in the industry. You can usually look the parent company up online, as well as find reviews for the mobile casino or--if it’s too new--mobile casinos run by the same parent company. Even if it is headquartered in a lax licensing district to save on taxes and other costs, this kind of company is not in the business of duping people. It’s in it for the long haul, making its bones on good customer service and a solid product.
Even if an online casino is newer or not under the banner of a reputable company, you can have some assurance if it licenses games from reputable software developers. Industry leaders in casino game development don’t want to do business with crooked mobile casino operators.
Can I have the same online casino account for desktop and mobile?
In most cases, yes. Online casino companies recognise the popularity of mobile apps and don’t want to leave that mobile money on the table. If a casino with a platform optimised for a desktop browser also offers a mobile app, you can usually expect that your login credentials will work on that app, your bankroll will transfer over, your personal information will be saved, and your transaction history preserved.
Bear in mind, however, that an online casino that offers both a mobile and desktop browser platform may not have as many game selections on mobile as it does on a desktop browser. Some video casino and slot games were developed with the extra processing and video power of a computer in mind and have not made the jump to a mobile version yet. Don’t be too surprised if your favorite game from the desktop casino is not available on the mobile casino. In fact, if you know there are certain games you love to play on the desktop browser casino, check that it is available in mobile format before you create your account.
What happens if I lose my connection?
We have all been there—a home or public WiFi connection fizzles out. We’re using cellular data and we wander into a “dead zone.” Suddenly, our mobile devices no longer have internet access.
What happens if you suffer this fate at a critical moment? For example, in the middle of a max-bet spin on a slot game, or a hand of poker where you have a straight flush, or, worst of all, your spin landed on the jackpot payline and then froze?
At times like this, it’s best not to panic. Close the app and re-login when you are ready. 99% of the time, you will be returned to the last point of progress within the casino.
If your progress is lost, unfortunately, you usually can’t make a case with an offshore casino that they owe you a refund, or winnings that weren’t confirmed by the game because of a crash.
Do all casinos have a mobile option?
Most online casinos have a mobile app nowadays. The mobile gaming market is too big and juicy, and every online game purveyor would be crazy to not want a piece.
What you will see is that some online casinos have a smaller portfolio of games in their mobile app than in their desktop browser site. This is usually because the software developer has not adapted their more graphics-forward, animation-heavy game offerings for the smaller mobile environment, which not only usually suffers from a smaller screen, but also less memory or processing speed.
One thing to be aware of if your online casino of choice does not have a mobile app offering is that the desktop browser may be mobile-optimised or mobile responsive. There is no separate app, but you may be able to navigate to the website using the mobile versions of a browser like Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, and have access to the website in a mobile-friendly format. This could make it easy enough to play ‘on the go’ with your favorite online casino, even if it does not offer a mobile app.
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