When we are bored, we often turn to our smartphone or tablet as a saviour, but sometimes can’t find comfort with our current apps. To help cure your boredom, we have compiled some of the best online casino apps which can be accessed via your portable device. Let us introduce this article first, by briefly detailing Australian online gambling app laws, as that is imperative to understand before reading any further.
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Gambling app and interactive betting legalities
In 2001, the Australian government introduced the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) which makes it illegal for online betting operators to offer their real money ‘interactive gambling’ services to Australian residents. This law is applicable to all interactive gambling operators located inside or outside Australian borders, however, no serious attempt has ever been made to thwart offshore operators from advertising and offering their services to Australian citizens.
In September 2017, the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill was introduced, which aimed to further clarify Australia’s online gambling laws. The IGA Amendment Bill closes the pre-existing loopholes that made it legal for offshore casino operators to service the Australian market, introducing the possibility of penalties for international vendors. Introduction of this Bill caused many of the top casino brands to leave the Australian market, although many safe casino sites have chosen to continue to welcome Australian players, doing so at their own risk.
Following the law is the responsibility of the operator and not the gambler – the Australian resident who wishes to access an interactive gambling site and punt with any operator cannot be penalised for doing so, and that is what is crucial to understand.
Note: not all online wagering services were prohibited from being offered under the Act – real money Internet sports betting and online lotteries were not deemed ‘interactive’, and so long as betting takes place through licensed operators, is not made after the commencement of a sports event, and is not an ‘instant win’ form of lottery, such betting is fine.
- Sports betting apps: Legally available to all Australians 18 years and up.
- Online poker applications: Technically not allowed to be offered to Australian residents, with most major online poker operators pulling out after the IGA Amendment Bill was introduced. Some poker apps do continue to allow Australian players.
- Real money casino applications: Available to all Australian residents 18 years and older, but technically in violation of the IGA law, however, no attempt to date has been made to stop the marketing of such services.
Best Australian sports bookmaker apps
We no longer have to head over to the TAB while waiting for our coffee to place a bet – online sports bookies have compact and user-friendly smartphone and tablet native and Web apps available to download/create.
Depending on your device’s operating system, you may be able to install certain native apps directly from application distributing stores such as the App Store, or you might be required to visit the official bookie websites from your device, as some bookies prefer to advertise their applications as non-market apps, especially for the Android OS.
Sports bookmaker applications for smartphones and tablets allow punters to place real money wagers and win real cash in return (Australian currency accepted), while giving you access to the best odds, informative betting advice, tournaments and competitions, and an array of diverse sports and racing events.
Apple’s iOs, Android, Blackberry, Windows and other popular smartphone and tablet operating systems are all compatible with the latest gambling apps, where you can punt on anything from horse and greyhound racing to national and international sporting events, as well as novelty bets on things such as politics, current affairs, finance and music awards. For an entertaining addition to your home screen, try out the following native betting applications:
Created by Australians, for Australians, BetEasy offers mobile betting on cricket, soccer, NRL, AFL, rugby and a whole heap more. Former owner of Sportsbet.com.au Matt Tripp, who bought BetEzy in late 2014 and rebranded it as BetEasy, redesigned the mobile platform which now comes complete with a downloadable native application via app markets and through the BetEasy website.
This allows us to open up the icon on our home screen and bet no matter where we are – as long as we have an internet connection, of course. If you want the best out of your betting experience then pick a bookmaker app which offers great rewards. BetEasy offers a $500 sign-up bonus which comes in the form of bonus bets as well as some amazing free giveaways.
The Sportsbet team has been around since 1993, and holds an impressive amount of experience. Wager on an extensive selection of sports via the application which is available from app stores and directly through the full website, too. Popular sports to punt on include AFL, cricket, soccer, basketball, tennis, MMA-UFC and motor racing. There is an exclusive greyhound and thoroughbred section with a comprehensive form guide. With an extensive range of bonuses and loyalty rewards, this app is excellent for all punters. Sportsbet matches your first deposit up to $150, and if you refer the app to a friend, you receive an additional bonus bet.
Owned by TAB Sportsbet and launched in 2008, the impressively designed Luxbet mobile and tablet application also offers an array of sports and racing events to gamble on from the palm of your hand. Once you’ve registered an account with Luxbet, you are offered up to $550 in bonus bets on your first deposit. Bet on horse racing, rugby union, AFL, NRL, golf, premier league and A-League matches, NFL and more, and take advantage of the slightly lower bookmaker vig of 4.8%, down from the average of 5.1%.
British bookmaker William Hill took control of three major Australian betting platforms, merging them all under the one brand name – right, William Hill. These included Sportingbet, Centrebet and Tom Waterhouse.
Sportingbet will be the first to bite the dust in early 2015, Centrebet set to leave in late 2015 and Tom Waterhouse in early 2016. This major rebranding process by William Hill aims to provide customers with an edge over other competing bookies and those bookmakers’ customers, as well as obviously gaining the upper hand in the Australian betting industry itself. Sportingbet will be rebranded in time for the NRL and AFL seasons in 2015, and each platform will begin to provide more global betting options, too.
All customers of the three brands will not have to change over any details, and will still be able to access their accounts via the login details they already hold. New customers can just as easily register new accounts, too. William Hill is the largest bookmaker in Britain and has the potential to make its apps among the best; plus we’re relieved we no longer have to see those irritating Tom Waterhouse ads on television.
To utilise the app, head to your respective application store (i.e. the App Store for Apple iOS devices) or bring up the official website on your smartphone or tablet device to find the non-market app (mainly for Android users). You will gain access to forms, great odds and easy wagering options.
Important notes about sports betting apps:
No apps in Australia offer live streaming or live betting of the events you are betting on due to Australian law. If a game is in progress, you will not be able to place an online bet via your application, as this is classified as ‘interactive’, but you can still call via phone and make these bets.
Bonus bets are available to those located in NT, ACT, QLD and TAS only.
Best online casino apps
Our recommended online casinos are all located overseas, and are comfortable offering their fair, reputable and licensed services to Australian residents. While laws have made it somewhat difficult for operators to market casino apps within Australian application stores for purchase or free downloads, their fully-fledged mobile sites are just as good in terms of graphics and gameplay.
Playing via your Web browser, creating Web apps
For our endorsed mobile casinos, we can enjoy real money games directly via our smartphone or tablet’s Web browser, or for even more convenience, we can make a Web app – an app built with browser programming language such as HTML5 and Flash technology, which requires only a common Web browser to operate, and has its software processed via the Internet, without us actually having to pull up our browser.
Whether you have Safari on your Apple iPhone or Google Chrome on your Android, you can access online games. Each of our gambling sites is fully compatible with smartphones, tablets and even some older-end data enabled and WAP devices. Here are the top rated mobile casinos that accept Australian players:
- Emu Casino
- Mongoose Casino
- House of Jack
- Raging Bull
- Mucho Vegas
As the mobile/tablet platform is considerably smaller than a desktop or laptop computer, there are fewer games to play, but we still have a minimum of 100 at each of the above sites. Access your banking (deposits and withdrawals), promotions and bonuses, game choice, personal details and other settings direct from your handset and enjoy high-quality and graphically advanced titles on the go. Games are not watered down and enjoy strong and vivid and smooth interfaces.
While browsing each mobile casino site, we have the option to generate our own Web apps – nifty apps which replicate what a traditional native app does, simply without needing to be installed directly on your device; all software is processed and rendered via the Internet and the app itself is compatible with all operating systems – not just specifically designed for the iOS or Android OS like native apps.
To create a Web casino app, navigate to your in-browser settings while on the mobile casino site (or from within a chosen game you wish to create a browser-based application for), find the ‘add to home screen’ setting, tap and create a name for your app (such as Thrills Casino or European Blackjack Gold). It will then pop up on your home screen, and you’ll be able to access that casino or game directly, without going through the Internet. The Web app also removes the toolbar to create more gaming space, and all features available within the mobile site remain intact.
The online poker industry makes up a huge chunk of the online gambling industry and has become one of the most popular real money interactive activities for men and women of all ages (18 years and over, of course). Again, while it is technically illegal for operators to market or advertise their poker services to Australians, that hasn’t seemed to stop cricketing legend Shane Warne from promoting 888 Poker to his devoted followers. The following companies each hold their own non-market applications, although these are no longer available to Australian residents from September 2017 onwards.
888 Poker – has both a non-market Android application and iOS users can access the Web app and is our favourite poker application. Offers great bonus cash up to $888 and a $10 no-deposit promo, too.
Pokerstars – available only to Android users via a non-market application. Cash games, sit and go tournaments and multi-table tournaments available to play.
Full Tilt Poker – also only available to Android users via a non-market app. Offers low- and high-stakes games including hold’em, stud and razz poker.
Remember to always gamble responsibly and never bet more than what you can afford. Visit Problem Gambling or the Gambling Online Helpline if you think gambling might be a concern for you.