Best Online Casino App for 2020
Play Slots and Casino Table Games on Your Mobile Devices
Web visits on smartphones and tablets now make up more than 50% of the total. The best online casinos have been ahead of the curve – offering 100’s of new slots and table games to users on mobile devices. This includes the new state-regulated casinos, as well as the big international brands.
In the past, most casinos were desktop-based. Some offered a smaller selection of games adapted for mobile play. Casino apps and responsive website design changed this. You’ll find all new casino games are mobile-friendly, with 1000’s of titles available.
Whether you are new to state regulated casinos, or visiting from the UK or Canada, this page takes you through everything you need to know to get the best from mobile casino apps. You’ll find the gaming options, best mobile casino brands, how different games work on phones and tablets and practical information on bonuses and security below.
Best Casino Apps for Online Casino Games
Getting Started with Mobile Casino Apps
You can enjoy mobile casinos in two ways.
First, you can download an online casino app. These are available for Android devices in all regulated states – and for Apple devices too in New Jersey. The second option is to use the web browser on your smartphone or tablet. You’ll find that most games adjust automatically to your screen size.
Apps create a smoother experience. You won’t need to download the graphics and animations each time you choose a new game. The trade-off is that there are often fewer games available. The number (and type) of games on apps vs the responsive web-based casino is closing fast.
Below are the top mobile casinos for NJ, PA and International readers. Once you have chosen one, simply visit using your phone or tablet. You’ll be automatically prompted to download the app in most cases.
iPhone Casino Apps: Apple users don’t currently have downloadable apps in Pennsylvania. This is due to changes in the App Store. While we wait for the casinos to create apps that meet the new technology requirements, you can use the GeoGuard Location Validator, available in the app store to access the iOS version of the casino or sportsbook. NJ and casino players outside of the United States, will have no problem downloading an iOS casino app from the app store.
Android Casino Apps: Android users will find apps at all our featured online casinos. For state-regulated casinos you’ll need to download them directly from the casino websites. Before you do this, you need ensure your download won’t be blocked. You can allow downloads from ‘unknown sources’ via an option in your settings.
You’ll be able to create an account, deposit and withdraw, access bonus deals and enjoy most of the games at mobile casinos.
Mobile Casino App by State
There is a lot of competition between online casinos. You can take advantage of bonus offers, free play and promotions at several casinos before you decide which is right for you.
The following picks have the best games, bonus deals and come from solid brands with good reputations. They are divided into New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Canada / UK.
Best New Jersey Mobile Casino Apps
The Garden state were the first to launch regulated casinos. Many of the license holders (the live casinos) partnered with successful international brands to offer the biggest online casinos in NJ. The biggest casino apps have 300+ games, giving you plenty of choice. Here are the top 3 mobile casino apps in New Jersey:
- Golden Nugget Casino: $20 free (no-deposit needed) with bonus code PLAY20. iOS and Android apps available. Live dealer casino + 100’s of slots.
- 888 Casino: $25 on sign up (no deposit needed) + 50% to $2000 deposit bonus. Huge game selection including many exclusive games.
- Virgin Casino: $30 on sign up (no deposit needed) + up to $100 cash back on your first deposit. Use promo code 30BUCKS to enjoy the excellent range of games.
Best Pennsylvania Mobile Casino Apps
It took a long time from their 2017 legalization of online gambling before the first apps appeared. In July 2019, the first casinos launched, with many of the names and platforms familiar from the NJ market. Here are the top picks combining generous bonuses with plenty of game choice for online casinos in PA:
- SugarHouse Casino: $250 welcome bonus (100% first deposit match) with easy 1x wagering requirement. Android app + responsive mobile site for iPhone users. Huge range of slots and table games.
- Unibet Casino: $10 free + 100% to $200 welcome bonus (20x wagering requirement). Unibet offers slots, video poker and more via their responsive mobile website.
- Hollywood Online Casino: $25 no deposit welcome bonus. Limited selection of 40 slots, with table games coming soon.
Best International Mobile Apps
If you live in Canada or the UK, you have a huge choice. Some of the biggest casino brands worldwide are available – with 1000’s of slot and table game titles between them. Games can be played in GBP or CAD, and some of the progressive jackpots reach life-changing amounts. Here are the top casino apps for UK and Canadian players.
- Bet365 Casino: Huge casino with 100’s of slots, table games and a live dealer option. Apps for Apple and Android mobile devices. New players get a 100% matched welcome bonus up to $100.
- 888 Casino: Up to $ / £88 free play no deposit needed + a 100% deposit match. Apps for Apple and Android, live dealer, 100’s of slots including many exclusive titles and big progressive jackpots.
- BetFair Casino: Get 25 free spins without a deposit at this giant casino. Access via apps or their responsive website.
Casino Apps by Device
In the past, code differences meant that Apple users were not able to access some casino games without plugins. Compatibility issues with Flash software was the root of this. Casinos adapted quickly, with games now using HTML5 or Java to work across devices. While there may be some legacy slots which still have not been adapted – all the best classic games have been switched over.
If you are in a newly regulated state and using an iPhone or iPad, then you’ll need to wait for casino apps to appear.
Apple changed the technical requirements for gambling apps to be allowed in their store. This was ostensibly to give them visibility of the code – to ensure everything is safe for users. Practically, it means that the casinos need to re-code their apps in Apples’ own programming language. I am sure the larger casino brands are working on this – though it will take time to move all the games over.
Google doesn’t allow casino or betting apps into the Play store. Unlike with Apple apps, there is a work-around. You can download the apps directly from the casino websites.
What Games are Available at Mobile Casinos?
Some casino games naturally work well on smaller screens, while others are best on desktops or tablets. Slot machines are a naturally good fit for apps. Flip your phone to view the screen in landscape mode to get the full benefit. Table games vary. Games with simple rules and betting work best. Blackjack is a good example. When you add multiple betting options and chips, things can get too crowded for the smallest smartphone screens.
This list of mobile casino games gives you an idea of what to expect:
Mobile Slot Apps
Slots are the most popular casino games. You’ll find 100’s to choose from at many online casinos. Some titles are adaptations of classic live casino slots, while many others are brand new. If you thought slots were all 3-reel games where you line up 7’s, then you are in for a surprise. Entertaining themes, 5 reels and interactive bonus games are all now available.
When you download a real money slot app, the graphics and animations used for the bonus games are already installed. If you choose the browser-based mobile games, you’ll often have to wait for bonus features to load / initialize. While this does not affect your wins, it can be an unwelcome interruption.
Some of the most popular real-money mobile slot games include:
- Cleopatra (IGT)
- Quick Hits (Bally)
- Divine Fortune (NetEnt)
- Wheel of Fortune (IGT)
- Blazing 7’s (Bally)
- Hot Zone (Bally)
- Zeus Series of Games (WMS / Scientific Games)
- Texas Tea (IGT)
- Money Storm (IGT)
With so many mobile slot games to choose from, finding your favorite studio is a great way to narrow your search.
Video Poker Apps
Video Poker is another game which fits perfectly with smartphone screens in landscape mode. The touch-screen format makes these games feel like the bar top machines that many of us are familiar with.
There are big differences in your choice of video poker apps between the different casino brands. The best have 6+ titles. These cover Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker and the multi-hand and bonus poker variations. Some casinos are more limited.
I recommend you check the bonus terms of your mobile casino if you exclusively play Video Poker. Some of them will restrict or even exclude this game from contributing to bonus clearing.
Mobile Blackjack Apps
The most popular casino card game has a place in every mobile casino app. Blackjack apps work well for single hand play, though the multi-hand games can be crowded on smaller screens. You can drag and drop your bets and hit buttons to decide on your action.
Side-bets vary between casinos. While the house-edge is often bigger for these, they do add an element of excitement – with big windfalls possible.
Bigger (international) casinos offer mobile versions of popular blackjack variants. You can find blackjack Switch, Spanish 21, Pontoon and Free Bet Blackjack available.
Mobile Roulette Apps
Roulette has been adapted for mobile gaming. The usual format is to separate the betting round from the spin of the wheel. The wheel coming into view after betting is completed. There are also games which show only a quarter of the wheel.
All casinos feature the US wheel in their mobile game selection. I recommend seeking out the European (singe zero) wheel instead. This has far better odds.
Some casinos feature roulette variations including Pinball Roulette, mini roulette or games with jackpot side bets.
Craps at Mobile Casinos
Craps is not available on casino apps. This game can be found on the main websites of online casinos. I recommend a bigger mobile device (iPad / Tablet) for online craps – the complex betting options don’t work well with phone-sized screens.
Keno at Mobile Casinos
Keno and it’s close relative Bingo work brilliantly on a real money casino app. These are so popular that separate dedicated sites exist in some geos. Single player games, often with quirky themes are the most common titles on apps.
There are also game-show type novelty game titles in this popular category.
Live Dealer Casino Games on Android / iPhone / iPad
Live dealer table games are taking an increasing share of players from the old-style (software) table games. These games have a real dealer, in real time – via a stream from a remote studio. They have been running internationally for years. More recently NJ and PA mobile casinos started to offer them. There are dedicated apps for live dealer casino games at some international casinos.
Games with live dealers include blackjack, roulette, casino poker games and baccarat.
I recommend a bigger screen and stable (preferably Wi-Fi) connection for these games. There are two reasons:
- First, the mix of streamed game and betting options are too crowded for smaller screens. It would be easy to make a mistake.
- Second, if you time out, for example with bad mobile phone reception, then your hand will be folded (or you may miss the chance to bet).
If you play live dealer games via an app, then a tablet will solve the first issue. These can be accessed via mobile phones / apps – though I recommend a test-run at your preferred casino (to view the games) before you play for real money.
Are Casino Apps Better than Desktop Games?
Both have their place. With desktop casinos you get a bigger choice of games. You also get more screen real estate to enjoy the graphics and animations. Real money casino apps allow you to have quick gambling sessions in otherwise ‘dead’ time – for example in a waiting room or in a line. Mobile games also mean you don’t need to sit at a computer to play. A tablet or phone is the ideal device to enjoy a slot (for example) while watching TV in the evening.
The downside with apps is that you don’t get the full range of games. Some games work a lot better than others on smaller screens. Live dealer games, craps and roulette are examples of games which require a bigger screen to be at their best.
If you choose casino websites, moving between casino brands – for example to take up special promo offers – is very easy to do. Unless you download several apps, you’ll end up playing most of your games at a single casino.
Are Online Casino Apps Safe?
If you stick to regulated and licensed online casinos, then you are very safe.
For PA and NJ, the state gambling control boards oversee their online casinos. Each of these is licensed to a brick and mortar casino. Not only do you have an avenue for complaints should there be a dispute, these casinos need to follow a strict code of conduct. This includes a responsible gambling policy and testing for game fairness.
Internationally there are several licensing jurisdictions. Sticking with the well-known brands like Bet365, 888 and Virgin will ensure your money is very safe. Choose casinos licensed in respected jurisdictions like Malta, Gibraltar or the Isle of Man. By avoiding lesser-known ‘grey market’ casinos licensed in Caribbean tax-havens, you’ll easily steer clear of issues.
Can I Claim a Casino Bonus on My Mobile Phone?
Mobile casino apps let you claim the full bonus deals – exactly as if you were visiting via the website. These bonuses take different forms. The free (no-deposit) deals at most state regulated online casinos are a great way to check out the mobile games before risking your own money.
Here are the types of mobile casino bonus to check out before you choose where to play:
- No Deposit Bonuses: Look out for free play bonuses simply for registering. These are typically small amounts ($10 to $25 range). They require some play-though, which is sometimes restricted to slots.
- Matched Deposit Bonuses: Between $100 and $1000 in bonus cash, depending on the casino. This is awarded as a 100% match to your first deposit and will require play-through before it clears into your regular balance.
- Loyalty Rewards: Earn points while you play, which can be exchanged for cash, free-play or tournament entries later on. Some mobile casinos tie in rewards with their live casino license holders.
- Promotions: The best mobile casinos offer a range of promotions. Some are game-specific, for example reload bonuses on different days. Others include free spins; tournament entries or daily challenge type offers.
Wrapping Up: Mobile Casino Gaming
More than half of web traffic is via mobile devices these days. Online casinos in regulated jurisdictions now make it easy to access their games this way. You can either download apps or go via their responsive websites.
Some games work better than others via mobile. Slots are the best fit. Flip your phone on its side, and the reels fit perfectly. Casinos have put the spin button to the right to make these even easier to play. While many table games work fine, some (craps, multi-hand blackjack games and some live dealer games) are too cramped for the smaller phone-sized screens.
Many of the newest mobile casinos now offer no deposit bonuses. These give the brands the chance to showcase their apps and websites. They also give you the chance to build a casino bankroll without risking your own cash. If you like what you see, big deposit bonuses are also on offer.