IT’S true – Australians love electronic gaming machines (EGM). We spend more playing pokies on a per resident basis than any other country in the world. In 2014, H2 Gambling Capital estimated that we lost $1590 for every adult in the country, the majority (Estimated $800) of which was incurred on non-casino gaming machines.
Did you know the highest payout on a EGM in a pub is $10,000? There are certainly valid reasons, such as trying to prevent patrons from chasing bigger wins. However, knowing this, why would anyone want to play pokies in the pub? Alternatively, you can play mobile pokies on your smartphone or tablet at the pub.
There are many more reasons to play slots on your mobile device, which we’ll touch on soon. First though, let’s discuss where to play. Did you know it’s illegal for online gambling operators in Australia to offer real money casino games? The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA), passed in 2001, makes it an offence.
You must be asking yourself – where do we play then and is it legal? It’s legal to play mobile pokies or any online casino games for that matter. However, we have to play with offshore casino operators, which means they’re not licensed in Australia. That’s not a problem, though, pending you stick to reputable mobile casinos.
Best real money mobile pokie apps
Some of the important factors to look for include licensing, certifications, game selection, banking (IE: Can you deposit and play in Australian Dollars?), software and of course, bonuses and promotions. You’re here because you want to know where to play now without hours of research, though, right?
Why is Royal Vegas #1? Let’s see, the mobile app is available for download on Android, Blackberry and iOS (Direct from iTunes for Australians), the casino is certified by eCOGRA, there are currently 86 mobile pokies to play for real money, accounts can be opened in $AUD and new players start off with up to a $1200 bonus.
How to start playing pokies on your iPhone, iPad or Android
There are multiple ways to start playing mobile slots on iOS and Android phones or tablets. You can download a native app packed with games to play. With this method, players download an app from iTunes (iOS) or direct from the casino on Android devices, as Google still doesn’t allow real money gambling apps in the Play Store.
Most mobile casinos today provide players with the opportunity to play in a browser. You don’t have to install or download anything to start playing. Tap on the casinos listed on this page and if the casino offers browser play, you’ll be able to register an account in minutes, complete your deposit and be playing pokies.
Regardless of how you choose to play, you’ll need an Internet data plan or access to WiFi because you need to be connected online. Have a different mobile OS such as Windows Mobile or Blackberry? There are limited native apps for these two operating systems, but you can access any of the web-apps.
Funding your account is simple through the mobile cashier nowadays. Unfortunately, mobile phone billing has yet to come to Australia, but players can receive deposits/payouts using credit cards, bank accounts, cheque, e-wallets (Skrill, Neteller, EntroPay, POLi) or prepaid vouchers (Paysafecard).
We only recommend operators offering banking in $AUD to avoid currency conversion fees. All of the mobile casinos on this page also follow strict security protocols, such as offering 128-bit SSL encryption to guarantee secure transactions. Accessing a mobile casino is as safe as accessing your bank on your smartphone.
Why are Australians going offshore to play pokies?
Don’t get me wrong, playing poker machines in clubs, hotels and casinos remains popular. According to the Australian Gambling Statistics 31st Edition, total annual gambling expenditure in 2013/14 was $21,155,919 billion, of which 52.2% was from playing pokies in hotels and pubs and 20.7% from casino gaming.
Data published by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) proved pokies spending was growing offline still. EGM turnover in NSW was $73.3 billion in 2014/15, up 6% from the prior year. Australia boasts 2%-3% (Roughly 200,000) of the world’s installed poker machines, so offline gaming isn’t going anywhere.
However, online (Mobile included) gaming is growing fast. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released a report titled “Australians’ Digital Lives” in March 2015. They estimate that 92% of Australians use the Internet, 70% access the web using a mobile phone and 50% using a tablet.
Don’t forget about the perks too. Mobile casinos offer cash bonuses, which is legal since they operate offshore. Several of the best pokie sites offer VIP loyalty programs, ideal for high turnover players. There’s a larger range of stakes at the low and high end. The majority of mobile pokies can be played at $0.01/line.
There are hundreds of pokies to play on smartphones and tablets from the different software providers (NetEnt, Microgaming, etc). The popular Microgaming Spin3 pokies are available on mobile and there are some more adventurous titles available as well, such as the 243 Ways Game of Thrones slot.
Progressive pokies are a tap away as well. Several offer jackpots exceeding $1 million, including Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune Touch. Playing in a mobile casino in Australia is the same as playing online with an offshore operator. About the only thing you won’t be able to do is spin the popular MegaSpin pokies.