It’s an undisputed fact that half of the traffic at online casinos comes from mobile users. People carry Android smartphones and iPhones with them as they go through their day, which is not the case with most desktop players. Due to that fact, the percentage of mobile casino slots players should go up as mobile gadgets become faster, more secure, and more convenient.
Since mobile gambling is on its way to being the dominant form of play, the question of the house edge on mobile casino games is important. So we ask today: do mobile casino games have better odds than land-based casino games? The short answer is yes, at least in many cases.
The History of Mobile Casino Games
Let’s review how we got here. Experts argue that the first online gambling took place when Liechtenstein national lottery first sold lotto tickets online in 1994. Later that year, Microgaming and CryptoLogic designed the first casino software for a mass audience. Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade & Processing Act and began to license gambling sites, thus launching the early years of online gambling.
In the year 2000, Intertops produced the Everygame software, which gave players the ability to make bets on a mobile cellphone. The first smartphone connected to a 3G network in 2001. Over the next decade, at least a hundred mobile casinos launched. When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, the mobile gaming age became a reality for many smartphone users.
Over the past 10 years, every new online casino also had a mobile casino app or otherwise supported mobile casino games. The older casino sites launched their own Android and iOS casino apps. Everyone in the gaming business also got into the mobile gaming niche.
Mobile Casino Games vs Land-Based Casino Games
With mobile casinos a commonplace, the question is whether they offer a better product than brick-and-mortar casinos. The answer is “Yes”, but only when it comes to online slots and a few other games. Players will find the return-to-player (RTP) of live dealer games is the same as it is with land-based table games.
That’s not the case with slot machines. Land-based casinos have a huge overhead. A gaming machine is a huge, expensive product. Casino resorts need dealers, waiters, attendants, cashiers, and managers. They build billion-dollar resorts. All of this costs money, which they make back on slots row. Since slots count for 70% of the revenues, the house edge needs to be high to make back the resort’s money.
The House Edge of Land-Based Slots
Regulators keep the house edge within reason. For instance, airport slots have a return-to-player of 85% (or a house edge of 15%). The same goes for gas station slots. Casino slots tend to have RTPs in the 92% to 93% range, though you’ll find some with an RTP of 95%.
Online and mobile slots don’t have that overhead. It has the design costs, plus the support staff and call center. Still, compared to land-based gaming operations, labor costs are low. Mobile slots don’t have to set a house edge as high.
Mobile Casino Gaming Sector: Huge Competition
Meanwhile, mobile casinos have a lot of competition. With a click or two, players can navigate away from one mobile casino to play slots at a competitor. If their losing streak goes on too long, that’s bound to happen.
The same can’t be said of land-based casinos. Unless you gamble in Las Vegas, Cripple Creek, Tunica, or Atlantic City, most gamblers don’t have a wide range of choices. If their losing streak at the local casino continues, they might have to drive hours to find the nearest competitor.
Tribal casinos and even many far-flung commercial casinos have a captive audience, so they can set the house edge higher.
The Best Mobile Slots at US Casino Sites
While it’s not common, US players can find mobile slots with an RTP in the 97% range (or a 3% house edge). NetEnt’s Bloodsuckers Online Slot has a house edge of around 1%. Land-based slots with a house edge in that range are few and far between (if not nonexistent).
Do Mobile Slots Have Better Odds Than Online Slots?
If that’s the case, then the obvious question is whether iPhone and Android slots have a better house edge than desktop slots. For the most part, connected online casinos and mobile casinos have the same games. You’ll find little evidence that the house edge is set differently between an online slot and its mobile counterpart.
Thus, you’ll find the same house edge on an online slot game, whether you play using a desktop device, an Android phone, or an iPhone. All use pseudo-random number generation to produce the results. It’s safe to play on the device that’s most convenient for you.
Why Do Online Gamblers Play Mobile Slots More Often?
The answers are convenience and habit. People carry their iPhones or Android phones with them all day. In many cases, they keep their mobile phones in their pockets everywhere they go. The chances they take out those phones and play a slot game are large.
For the same reason, people are in the habit of using their mobile devices more often. A person can drag their laptop to the couch to watch TV. They might take it outside to use on their patio. But in just as many cases, people have to isolate themselves in their computer room if they want to gamble on a desktop computer.
Even those with access to desktop computers at their workplace have work commitments. It’s not a good idea to gamble from work, especially on company devices. Long story short, mobile slot play is more apt to happen at every step along the way.
Use Mobile Casino Bonuses When Playing Android and iPhone Slots
With that in mind, mobile casino slots are the best version of slot games you’ll find — in a neck-and-neck tie with online slots. These days, many online casinos offer mobile bonuses for those who prefer to use Android and iOS devices. The vast bulk of these are slots bonuses, so players should keep this in mind while gambling online.