With the mobile gaming sector now one of the fastest-growing segments of the UK gambling industry, it will come as no surprise to learn that a number of operators are now working towards native mobile apps. As such, if you’re looking for the best UK slot apps as for 2020 – you’ll likely want to stick with the likes of William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, BetFred or Paddy Power. The main reason for this is that the aforementioned online casinos – otherwise referred to as the ‘Big Five’, have a significant customer base and thus – have the required resources to create and manage a fully-fledged mobile app.
We would argue that mobile slot apps are somewhat irrelevant. In other words, as most software developers typically optimize their slot games for mobile usage, there is actually no requirement to download and install a native app. Instead, players have access to the very best slot games via their standard mobile web browser.
Nevertheless, if you’re interested to find out more about UK slot apps and how they compare to mobile casino browsers, be sure to read our opinion piece.
What is a slot app?
First and foremost, it is important to understand what we mean by a ‘slot app’. In a nutshell, there is no such thing as a slot app per-say, insofar that online and mobile slot games are hosted by regulated casinos. As such, if you are intent on downloading a slot-specific app to your mobile device, you will actually need to join an online casino such as Casumo, Rizk, or William Hill.
Think of it like this. If you were to order your weekly shopping via your smartphone device, you wouldn’t obtain a ‘bread app’ or a ‘toothpaste app’. On the contrary, you would need to download a supermarket application via the likes of Tesco, Asda, or Sainsbury’s.
This is no different to the mobile slots space, as you’ll need to download a casino app – such as those released by major bookmakers like William Hill and Ladbrokes. Nevertheless, it is also important to note that the casino platforms themselves do not create the slot games that they host.
On the contrary, it is actually specialist software developers that license their games to casinos. This includes the likes of NetEnt, Evolution, and Microgaming. As we will discuss in more detail further down, these software providers play a major part in your ability to play slots on your mobile device.
Moving on, once you have obtained a slot app from your chosen operator, opened an account and deposited funds – you can then play slot games from the within the app at the click of a button. With that being said, in the next section of our article, we are going to explore how playing slots via a native app differs from accessing an optimized casino via your mobile web browser.
Apps in the AppStore vs mobile optimized casinos
In a time not so long ago, attempting to play slots via your mobile web browser was virtually impossible. While the technology to support online slots has actually been in existence for a number of years now, the end-to-end gaming experience was nowhere near as good as it is today. In fact, you’ll now find that the mobile slot experience is just as good as its desktop counterpart.
As a result, the best slot sites will now give you the option of downloading their native iOS or Android app, or simply accessing their platform via a standard mobile web browser. If you opt for the former, then you will, of course, need to factor in both storage space and the size of the required download.
The best UK slot apps are jam-packed with thousands of games, meaning that you’ll likely need a decent amount of storage on your phone to ensure a smooth gaming experience. Moreover, as the download size is likely to be large, you are best off waiting until you have a WiFi connection before proceeding with the download.
On the other hand, some commentators argue that mobile apps actually require less data than mobile web browsers. This is because mobile apps already have a lot of the information that they need to operate – which is stored offline on the device. On the contrary, web browsers constantly need to send information back and forth to operate seamlessly – which is why data usage can be higher.
However – and as we discussed in a previous article, NetEnt – who are behind hundreds of slot games of all shapes and sizes, note that one slot machine spins amounts to just 1kb of data. As a result, data consumption shouldn’t be your only motivation when opting for a UK slot app over optimized casinos.
The second point of consideration that you need to make when looking for the best UK slot apps is whether or not you want to pigeon-hole yourself to just one of two operators. In other words, if you’re the type of player that likes the freedom of moving from slot site to slot site, this might prove difficult when you factor in the storage requirements of each app.
By sticking with a mobile web browser, you can access as many sites as you like at the click of a button, without needing to worry about installing, downloading, and subsequently storing mobile slot apps.
Is downloading a dedicated slot games app safe?
If you are still looking to download the best UK slot apps, you need to ensure that you have a firm grasp of how to stay safe. First and foremost, it might come as no surprise to learn that the reach of cyber-criminals has since entered the scope of the mobile application arena.
Known as ‘Fake Mobile Apps’, both the Google Play and Apple Stores are now home to tens of thousands of bogus apps that intend on mimicking legitimate apps. The overarching idea is to trick everyday consumers into thinking that they are downloading their chosen app. However – in reality, they are instead downloading a fake app created by fraudsters.
This could be for a number of reasons, such as getting you to enter your login credentials for the app you actually intended to download, or by releasing Malware on to your device so that the fraudsters can steal your personal information. Either way, it is absolutely crucial that you stay safe when downloading a UK slot app.
Here’s a couple of handy tips to ensure that you protect your slot account from the threats of malicious actors.
Download from the official website
If you have found your preferred mobile slot app, your first port of call was probably to head straight to your respective Google Play or Apple Store, search for the name of the slot provider, and then proceed with the download. We would avoid obtaining the app in this manner, not least because you might end up downloading a fake app, as opposed to the official app you were after. This is an easy mistake to make, as fraudsters will copy the official app like-for-like, including the logo and app description.
Instead, you should first use your mobile web browser and head over to the official website of your chosen operator. For example, if you’re looking to download the William Hill app, go to the official William Hill website. Next, look for the ‘Mobile App’ section of the site. In some cases, if you scroll down to the bottom of the homepage, you’ll likely see a direct link. Depending on what operating system you are using, you will then be taken to the Google Play/Apple Store, and straight to the download page for the app. This way, you can guarantee that you are downloading the official app.
Refrain from using the auto login feature
We get it. You want the convenient option of clicking on your chosen slot app, and being taken straight to the slots department so that you can start playing instantly. However, what happens if somebody has access to your phone, even for just a second?
As such, we would suggest removing the auto login feature from your app. Instead, you’ll be instructed to enter your password every time you want to access your account. Although this requires an extra step, it could be the difference between keeping your casino account safe or giving somebody unauthorized access!
As an added security precaution, you should also ensure that your mobile device has a screen lock safeguard. This isn’t the case just for slot apps, but for the safety of all of the private data held on your phone.
Do slot apps offer casino bonuses?
If you’re a seasoned online slots player, then you’ll know that the industry is now super competitive. This has resulted in casinos offering huge bonuses as a means to entice you to their platform. But what about casino bonuses via your native slot app?
First and foremost, it is important to note that irrespective of what device you are using, you will still get the casino’s proprietary welcome package. For example, let’s say that you opt for the £300 matched deposit bonus offered by William Hill. Whether you decide to open your account through your desktop computer, mobile web browser, or via the native mobile app – you would still get the £300 matched bonus.
As we noted earlier, the best UK slot apps are simply mobile applications released by operators, so you’re getting a bonus from the casino in question, not the slot app. Nevertheless, although the hallmark offer can be obtained via any device, those using a mobile phone are often given an additional bonus. This can come in one of the two forms.
“Download the app for an extra bonus”
On top of their main welcome offer, some online casinos will give you the chance to earn an additional bonus by simply downloading and installing the app. You can either open an account via your desktop computer and log in with your credentials, or complete the registration process via the app. Either way, the bonus will typically be applied to your account as soon as you open the app.
“Place a bet via the mobile casino for an extra bonus”
Irrespective of whether or not the casino offers a native mobile app, some operators will give you an additional bonus just for placing a bet via their mobile site. The casino will know that you are accessing their platform via your mobile web browser, so as soon as you meet the conditions of the offer (for example, bet a minimum of £5 on slots via your mobile browser), the bonus will be applied automatically.
Why do slot apps give you an extra bonus?
If you’re wondering why operators are so intent on getting you to play slots via your mobile phone – the answer is simple. Essentially, online casinos know that the vast majority of us have our mobile phones on our possession at all times. If it’s not in our pocket or handbag, it will be on our office desk, or next to us on the sofa.
Either way, by always having our mobile phone on us, casinos know that we have the capacity to gamble at any time, anywhere. This is in stark contrast to playing slots on your desktop device, not least because you will likely need to be at home in order to facilitate this. On the contrary, as long as you have a 3g/4g or WiFi connection, you can play slots on the move.
With that being said, online slot sites will attempt to entice you their mobile platform by offering you an additional bonus. Moreover, it is also a means for them to get you to test the mobile platform out. Once you get comfortable with playing slot games on a smaller screen, the casino hopes that you will make the long-term transition from desktop-to-mobile.
What is the best free casino app?
If you’re looking for the best free casino app, there is no one size fits all answer to this question. The main reason for this is that we have never come across a legitimate slot app that comes with a cost. In fact, this would make no sense, as why would you need to pay for the ability to gamble your own money? As such, regardless of which mobile slot app you do opt for, if you are required to pay to download it – simply walk away.
Nevertheless, if you are searching for the best UK slot apps, there are some key factors that you need to look out for.
All-in-one hub: Firstly, you need to ensure that the slot app allows you to perform all of the same account functions as its desktop counterpart. By this, we not only mean having the ability to play slot games. On the contrary, we mean performing key functions such as depositing and withdrawing funds, contacting customer support, and checking your previous bets. Ultimately, you don’t want to choose an app that requires you to use the desktop site for certain functions, as this will be a cumbersome process.
Slots Suite: If you’re looking to obtain a slot app, then it’s likely that the underlying operator offers a comprehensive gaming suite. This will typically include table games such as blackjack and roulette, video poker, live dealers, virtual games, and of course – slots. However, if your main passion is online slots, make sure your chosen slot app has a highly extensive list. Some of the best casinos operating in the space now offer a slot suit that consists of thousands of individual titles, which is great.
Software Providers: Players often forget to assess what software providers a particular casino platform utilises. This is important for two main reasons. Firstly, you’ll want to pick a slot app that uses the most established software developers. The reason for this is that the likes of NetEnt, Quickfire, Evolution, Microgaming, and Playtech are well known in the space for producing fully optimized slots. Lesser known providers often develop their games for desktop-usage only, as they don’t have the resources to optimize their games to the same level as established providers. Secondly, if you have a passion for progressive jackpot slots and thus – you want the chance of chasing that life-changing win, then you’ll want to pick a slot app that uses the biggest progressive networks. As the networks are provided by established software developers, you’ll want to stick with providers that have hundreds of operators under their belt. Otherwise, if you were to play progressive games backed by smaller developers such as Eyecon and Thunderstruck, you’ll only have access to tiny jackpots.
Regulation: Although this final point might appear somewhat obvious to the vast majority of use, you’d be surprised how often it is overlooked. In a nutshell, in order for a slot app to market its games to UK players, the underlying casino must be regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. This ensures that you are able to gamble in a safe and secure ecosystem. As a result, you should only choose a UK slot app if the casino is in possession of a Gambing Commission license. You can easily check this by visiting the platform’s homepage, scrolling down to the bottom of the page, and then obtaining the casino’s license number. Ultimately if your chosen slot app is not regulated by the Gambling Commission, under no circumstances should you use it!