Do You Play at Mobile Casinos for Real Money?

Written by: Cliff Spiller, Online Casino and Game Expert
Verified by: Webster Lupton, Casino, Gambling, and Sports Journalist
Mobile Casino Gambling

Mobile Casinos

Online Casino on Mobile

Mobile gambling is now the most common way players bet online. Gaming analysts claim that as much as 60% of the Internet gambling market is now done with an Android, iPhone, or iPad. They predict the mobile segment of the online gaming industry is going to grow.

Recently, we asked over 800 casino gamblers about this. If our recent OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos Mobile Survey is correct, the percentage of mobile gamblers already has grown.

Player preferences come down to a lifestyle choice. Mobile bettors have different preferences than desktop gamblers. Both have different motivations than those who visit brick-and-mortar casinos. In each case, the player chooses a game based on a combination of entertainment factor and how it fits into their day.

Increasingly, players choose mobile gaming because it’s more convenient. Due to long work hours, family commitments, or the rush of modern life, most of us seem to have less time for hobbies than we once did. In that situation, mobile gaming makes sense. At least that is the conclusion OUSC reached after taking a recent survey of gamblers.

How OUSC Conducted the Mobile Gaming Survey

OUSC Exclusive Player Survey

From October 2 to November 13, 2018, OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos conducted a mobile survey of over 800 people.

The survey asked two questions. First, we asked respondents whether they played online casino games or not. Second, we asked those who enjoyed Internet gaming whether they play using a mobile device or not.

About 70% of those polled said they play online games for real money. Of those who answered “Yes” on Question 1, almost 80% said they played using mobile devices. With such a large sample size, our survey has a +/- degree of error of 5% and we have a 95% confidence in our results.

1. Do you play casino games online for real money?

  • 69.3% (531) – Yes
  • 30.7% (235) – No

We asked follow-up questions of the 800 respondents. Their answers, which we list below, were varied and interesting. Among the 531 people who play online games, we asked why they use either a mobile or desktop device. Among the 235 who said they do not bet online, we asked why they chose land-based gambling over Internet gambling.

2. Do you play on a mobile device (If they answered “Yes” on question 1)?

  • 79.8% (356) – Yes
  • 20.2% (90) – No

In the short analysis, mobile gamblers preferred convenience above all. Desktop gamblers wanted bigger displays and a handier gaming interface. Most brick-and-mortar gamblers prefer trust over convenience, though some prefer a social experience or the thrill of live gambling. That’s the upshot, but let’s delve into deeper breakdown and analysis below.

Most Online Casino Players Use Mobile Devices – 79.8%

Mobile gamblers cited convenience as their main reason for using mobile smartphones and tablet computers. This was conveyed in a number of ways, with words and phrases like “handy”, “save time”, “easy access”, “can take it anywhere”, and “can play anytime” as common responses. One even said, “Because I don’t have to get up off the couch.”

Convenience wasn’t the only response. Some suggested their mobile device is more reliable than their desktop computer. Others enjoyed using an iPad for gaming.

Still, others said they don’t have a desktop or laptop at the moment, so their Android phone or iPhone is the only Internet access they have. The majority came back to the convenience of playing “on the go”.

The list below is a large sample of the responses. As you can see, people have many reasons to play with Android or iOS.

Because the casino’s too far [away]. Why would I go [to a brick-and-mortar casino] when I can just play at home?

OUSC Mobile Survey Respondent

Reasons Bettors Use Mobile Smartphones

We’ve included below a list of the reasons our respondents provided for preferring online mobile casinos over other types of gambling. A few conclusions can be drawn when taking in the totality of the answers. In general, we found that ease-of-use and convenience are the main reasons driving the decision to use mobile casinos amongst most players.

Go ahead and take a peek at some of the answers from the people who answered our Mobile Casino Survey. You may even have a chuckle or two with some of the replies, or relate to your own personal experience.

  • Convenience
  • That’s all I have.
  • Because I don’t have to leave my apartment.
  • Passes my time when I’m on the job doing a 12-hour shift.
  • I like the iPad.
  • Because I can play from my own living room.
  • It’s fun when I can’t get to the casino.
  • Because you can gamble while traveling.
  • Confined to bed rest right now.
  • Only way to do it on the go.
  • Carry my phone all the time.
  • Because it’s on my phone.
  • So I can walk around the house with it.
  • I don’t have anything else to use.
  • I don’t have to get up off the couch.
  • Just doesn’t glitch out at much.
  • I don’t know — stupidity, I guess.
  • It’s all I got.
  • Thrill
  • Can take it anywhere.
  • So I can play on the go.
  • Save gas gambling from home.
  • Easier to play, the payout is better sometimes.
  • My mobile is portable.
  • Saves time.
  • Having fun.
  • Because I’m good at Texas Hold’em poker.
  • Only device I have.
  • Fun, easy access.
  • Can’t travel. No vehicle.
  • Have no home computer. Very entertaining when my husband watches sports.
  • Sometimes I don’t like being around people.
  • Cause I can’t get to the casino.
  • Can play at any given time.
  • It’s handy.

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Which Online Casino Games Do Mobile Players Prefer?

Finally, when we asked why a person gambles with a mobile phone or tablet, we got a number of responses which described specific games. Slots or pokies were the most popular response, with specific games like Book of Ra, Sizzling Hot, and Aladdin’s Treasure given as reasons bettors play. Almost as often, a variety of table games were mentioned. Texas Hold’em was cited once or twice, while Keno was mentioned nearly a dozen times.

It is notable that individual games have such an impact. Many times, whether a person enjoys private betting in the comfort of their own home or gaming on the go with a mobile device, a player is drawn to an online or mobile casino by one game. Game selection matters. Here’s a list of the games our respondents specifically mentioned.

Most Popular Mobile Casino Games

Why Some Gamblers Prefer Not To Use Mobile Casinos

Some players who answered our survey expressed their preference for playing on their desktop devices. Some others – may be a bit more classic in their choices – still prefer the in-person experience of playing directly at brick-and-mortar casinos. Here’s what they shared with us.

Online Players Who Prefer Desktop Casinos – 20.2%

Desktop Online CasinoThough it was a smaller sample, the reasons for using a desktop computer were more varied. Many desktop or laptop players preferred better graphics when they use a bigger computer screen. Others don’t like using a touchscreen instead of a keyboard, either because using a mouse and keyboard is more intuitive or because a smartphone’s controls are too small.

A certain number of desktop users don’t trust mobile devices as much. Some prefer the speed and power of a desktop computer. Respondents also pointed out that some online casinos do not offer their whole selection of games in the mobile settings (though sites like Bovada Casino are fully mobile-optimized these days). The list of unique responses is smaller, but still instructive in the thought process of desktop gamblers.

The phone screen is too small and betting time is very fast on a PC.

OUSC Mobile Survey Respondent

Reasons Online Gamblers Use Desktop Computers

  • Trust
  • Cause I got a 49-inch PC screen.
  • Laptop is dependable.
  • Sometimes games are limited to desktop or laptop only.
  • [Smartphone] live screen is too small. Bet time is very fast [on a PC].
  • Entertainment at home.
  • Mobile phone is too small for me to see.
  • Don’t have the right phone.
  • I like using my laptop. It’s larger and easy.
  • I don’t have mobile.
  • Not as many games on mobile.
  • You don’t have to go anywhere.
  • Smartphone gaming is uncomfortable.

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Why Do Some Gamblers Prefer Land-Based Casinos?

Brick and Mortar Casino
We got responses from players who don’t bet online but instead visit brick-and-mortar casinos. Many of these gamblers do not trust online casinos or random number generators. They prefer to use a live dealer for their gaming. Some said online gambling isn’t legal where they live, so they prefer trips to a nearby casino. One responded they only play for $5, so they don’t play online. ($5 bets are allowed at online casinos, of course.)

A few said they play online in practice mode. Many players don’t know that most online and mobile casinos allow free play in fun mode or practice mode for promotional reasons, but it’s obvious that some potential real money players use practice games. In fact, a couple said they are practicing with the intent to play for real money eventually.

Looking for an online casino, but don’t want to get scammed.

OUSC Mobile Survey Respondent

Reasons Why Gamblers Don’t Play Online

Here’s a sampling of the responses from gamblers who don’t play online. Those gamblers wondering about “cheaters” or trust issues should do their due diligence.

Most online casinos are licensed and regulated by a governmental authority somewhere. Research an online casino’s licensing, its software providers, and customer reviews before choosing to deposit money.

  • Spending money online frightens me
  • Just don’t trust digital gambling.
  • Looking for an online casino, but don’t want to get scammed.
  • No, I just don’t like it.
  • Just haven’t tried it yet, but I will.
  • Don’t know how to.
  • Cheaters
  • My state doesn’t allow online gambling.
  • Prefer a live deal.
  • Fear of getting compromised.
  • I only play online for practice.
  • If it was legal, I would.
  • I’m really not sure about the effects of online gambling.
  • I don’t trust them.
  • I need a live-streaming wheel.
  • I only like to play $5 hands and have never tried [mobile].
  • The hands are virtual. The programs could generate anything they want.
  • Just working out my strategy before taking the plunge.

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OUSC Final Thoughts on Mobile Casino Gaming

However they play, gamblers want a pleasant and comfortable gaming experience. Convenience is the byword. Mobile players prefer the convenience of playing on their Android or iOS device. Modern people are in a rush most of the day, so the ability to play for a few minutes here or there is a huge draw.

Desktop users prefer a different kind of convenience: bigger screens, bigger keypads, a bigger game selection, and faster processing times. These players prefer to play in the privacy of their own home without spending on gas and other expenses, like an expensive smartphone.

The gamblers who take the time to visit a land-based casino want something else: a live gaming experience. They like the thrill of a spinning roulette wheel or a roll of the dice. They want to know the game is determined by a real person who deals real cards – and not by a computer program. They value the trust factor above all else. If they ever play online, they’ll use a live dealer game with results streamed live to their computer screen in real time.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller Online Casino and Game Expert

Cliff Spiller is a global casino industry specialist who writes relatable content for beginners and experts. He's written gambling articles and online casino reviews at OUSC for over 15 years.

Learn More About Cliff