A Review of Download Casinos and Their Benefits for UK Players
While massively outnumbered these days when compared to instant play casinos, download casinos for some are still the preferred choice. They usually offer a wider selection of games, classic titles not available on mobile devices, they can be more stable, and in some ways, they are more secure than alternative options such as instant play.
So what are download casinos and why should players in the United Kingdom consider using them?
Download casinos have been around in the UK since online gambling began back in the early 1990s. Since then, they have come a long way with Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, and Windows apps available from online casinos with a license to operate in the UK.
When casino apps were first released back in the early 1990s, HTML5 or Flash was not invented, and instant play was not available. There were no smartphones or tablets back then, and the internet was still in its infancy. Payers would use a dial-up connection or slow broadband connection to connect to the World Wide Web.
Therefore, the only way the casinos could offer stability and fluency was by offering a downloadable desktop app in which games could run off the device’s physic memory rather than reply on the internet to run the game through a browser.
Of course today the internet and computer technology have come a long way with faster connections and more advanced technology. And now the casinos have far more flexibility which has lead to the popular rise of instant-play gaming that supports multi-platform HTML5 and Flash browser instant play is today available on both desktop and mobile devices.
Despite the fact that instant play gaming has become so popular, download casinos are still popular for a number of reasons.
What is a Downloadable Casino?
While instant play can be played directly through a browser without having to download the software, download casinos are designed to be downloaded in client form. It is a piece of software that will run as a program on your computer or mobile device, and it does not need any kind of browser support.
The entire process is super fast. Once players have clicked ‘Download’, the software is installed locally on the hard drive of the computer. Then it can be accessed easily via the app shortcut on the device used. With all security log on details entered into the app in order to access a specific account via the app.
Games are usually downloaded to the device on demand rather than the entire suite of games being downloaded and taking up lots of physical memory. Once a particular game is stored, the player will have instant access to that game via the app anytime he/she wants to play it without the need to download it again.
What Games Can be Played at Download Casinos?
One of the reasons that downloadable casinos are popular is because they often offer a larger selection of games when compared to an instant play. Some of the games that are not compatible with HTML5 or Flash instant play browsers can be played after downloading the software. Admittedly these games are usually older ones, but this is perfect for seasoned players that want to enjoy an early slot title or table game designed before casino games were developed for mobile as well as HTML5/Flash play.
You will find that apps have an array of different games such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, classic slots, 3D video slots, scratch cards, video poker, poker, lottery, keno, and dice games from a variety of software providers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, QuickPlay, BetSoft, and more. Live dealer games are also available via nearly all desktop casino apps.
On top of this, many iOS and Android apps offer live casino tables that have been optimized for mobile players with tablets and smartphones. Roulette is the most popular, but there are some blackjack and poker tables available on live dealer platforms from companies such as Evolution Gaming and Microgaming.
Advantages of Download Casinos
High-speed internet has meant that the advantages of download casinos are not as big as they once were. However, there are still some advantages to be had and these are the reasons why many players in the United Kingdom still prefer to download software over instant-play gaming.
- Usually, offer a larger selection of games compared to instant play
- Older games can be found on apps
- Not as reliant on bandwidth/internet speed compared to instant play
- Slightly more secure than instant play due to no browser
- More stable gameplay meaning better graphics and no lag
Download vs. Instant Play
We already mentioned that a download casino will offer a larger game selection compared to instant casinos usually because you will find many older game titles not designed for instant play available on an app. In addition to this, games using a downloadable app are usually more stable as they are run using local memory rather than the internet.
On the other hand, instant play gaming eliminates the application download process. All games are played using a browser which means no local memory is used on the player’s device. This is particularly useful if someone owns a device with low physical memory.
Instant play casinos are also accessible from almost any operating system. The issue with downloadable apps is they are usually designed for only iOS or Android; while an instant play is usually accessible from all operating system that has a browser.
Leading on from this, instant play casinos are more diverse than download ones. Players can play instant play casino games using the same account from multiple devices with dissimilar operating systems. For example, players can simply sign up via any browser on any device and access the same account from their Android smartphone, Apple iPad or their Windows desktop browsers.
Deciding which is the best between the two will always come down to each player's specific circumstances. Those that vary their play between mobile and desktop are likely to prefer instant play casinos. However, a PC player or someone that prefers the stability and larger selection of games a download casino offers will prefer to play via an app.
Thanks to the United Kingdom Gambling Commission's (UKGC) strict regulations, online casinos, are very safe to play at and have to follow strict regulations to keep their license. That said, it still pays to keep your mind open to the fact that complete safety at online casinos is not always a foregone conclusion.
Download casinos do offer slightly better security. The login process and financial transactions are all initiated locally from the computer rather than through a browser. This means third-parties that may have hacked your browser or be recording your browser activity will not be able to hack accounts using an app that us running locally.
Apps also use secure SSL technology that ensures all connections to the online casino are fully encrypted.
Download Casinos – FAQ
What types of games can I play at download casinos in the UK?
As well as a large variety of online slots, players will be able to enjoy classic table games such as Roulette and Blackjack, video poker, and the live dealer suite of games that most casinos offer these days.
What are the system requirements for playing at a download casino?
There will be minimum system requirements but these will be very low for most download casinos. Even low-spec computers should have no trouble downloading and running the games. Players will also be able to lower the graphics settings for any of the more modern games if required.
Do all major software providers develop download casinos?
Many of the biggest names in the industry have developed download casino for their platforms. Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech are just three such names.
Can I enjoy download casinos on my smartphone?
Client-side download casinos can only be enjoyed by computer users. Windows, Linux and Mac computers will usually be able to download apps. Mobile players can either enjoy instant play or download the app.
Are download casinos safe?
Download casinos will always make use of 128 bit SSL encryption technology to protect the information and financial transactions of players. This is the same technology used by financial institutions.
Could I get a virus by downloading a casino?
Highly unlikely. As long as you are using a trusted and reputable online casino, there is very little chance that they will place any malware within their downloads. To be safe, use antivirus and firewall software on your PC – this will pick anything up.