Published on 18 February 2017 by Adam
*UPDATE* – Google announced in July 2017 that the ban on gambling apps for UK, Irish and French players would end. Beginning in August 2017, online casinos began offering apps on Play Store for players residing in these locations. We hope that this will be expanded to more regions soon, and you can find the latest updates here on NetEnt Casino.
If you like to dabble in mobile casino gaming, you’ll have probably downloaded a dedicated app at some stage. Whether you’re using a device that runs Android or iOS is of huge significance to how you actually install a betting app, as Google has made it more difficult than Apple. We’ll get into why you can’t download gambling apps using Google’s Play Store shortly, while also looking at the two mobile operating systems’ popularity with casino gamers.
Google Play Store Bans Betting Apps
While many online casinos in today’s iGaming world prefer to use optimised versions of their website, there are some that still create apps too – such as Mr Green. Back in the day before mobile browser technology was as advanced, players were often forced to take up their precious memory with casino software in order to play their games.
For iOS, this is simple, with a download often available from the App Store. With Google, however, it’s not as easy. The American company states on its Play Store Restricted Content webpage that “content or services that facilitate online gambling” are banned. Therefore, online casinos need to take an alternative route to your smartphones and tablets.
To install a betting app on your Android smartphone or tablet, you need to download a casino’s .apk file. They will often host this directly, although the exact location isn’t always obvious – hence the difficulty in playing with online casino apps on Android.
However, once you’ve found it, you need to allow your phone to install software from other sources, from within the security settings, before running the file.
Android OS Thriving in the Mobile Casino Market
Despite this long-winded approach, you may be surprised to hear that Android dominates this market share. Are people really that patient that they’re willing to search the internet far and wide to find an elusive app? The answer is probably not.
As we said before, the current mobile casino world mainly revolves around dedicated websites rather than software, due to the following advantages:
- They bypass Android’s gambling app restrictions on Google Play Store
- Browser-based platforms require no storage space
- There’s no need to dedicate resources into maintaining two separate apps
Oh, there’s also the fact that Android is the most-used mobile operating system in the world today – with Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, and even BlackBerry and Microsoft using it as the framework for their devices. In fact, more than 80% of the mobile casino market uses the Android operating system as a whole.
What’s the Future of Mobile Casino?
While the rise of mobile casino has been well-documented, it’s interesting to analyse its future in the online gaming world. With virtual reality looking to take the mantle, it remains to be seen whether this technology can be adapted to mobile devices.
If not, we may well see a sudden surge back towards desktops and laptops, if only for the short term. Only time will tell…