If you’d have told me or any of my friends playing fruit machines in pubs quite a long time ago now that one day you’d be able to play these games – and thousands more – on a watch, we would have laughed you out of the bar.
Yet here we are!
Smartwatches are now supplying more computer power than my fruity playing friends and I had seen in our lives up to that point, and among the things they can do is stream the latest online casinos, including live casino games.
In this guide, we’ll tell you all about Smartwatch casinos including:
- How to use find Smartwatch Casinos,
- How to use a smartwatch casino,
- and How to play casino games safely, and for free, on your smartwatch.
Time to get going.
Best Smartwatch Casinos for 2021
What is a Smartwatch Casino?
Smartwatches have a longer history than most people think. If one includes digital watches then you can follow the timeline back to the early 1970s, but what most people would recognise as a smartwatch (a computer you can wear on your wrist basically) was first released in 1983, the Data 2000 from Seiko.
We’re a long way from there now.
The Smartwatches people wear now are definitely close relatives – and often collaborators with – smartphones, which made the most of mobile internet access to turn another previously single-function device into your portable computer and network base.
To access a casino on a smartwatch you need at least two things: internet access, and a compatible operating system.
All smartwatches should hook you up to the World Wide Web as standard.
Then you’ll have some choices to make.
There are seven commonly used smartwatch operating systems:
Wear OS, an Android system, and WatchOS, from Apple, are the ones that are of most use to online casino players.
You will also find Tizen in some Samsung devices, AsteroidOS (a relative of Android), Sailfish OS, and a Ubuntu system.
The operating system comes into play if you decide to download a casino app to your smartwatch.
You should be able to browse to a site on your browser and play online casino games on your smartwatch whatever operating system you have installed.
The truth is that if you have a web browser that works then almost every online casino is a smartwatch casino because smartwatches are basically mobile phones and every casino is now available to mobile devices.
Apps for your Smartwatch Casino
Apps are simply a way to access an online casino from your phone or smartwatch. They can be downloaded and installed. They may provide little more than a link to a website or they may exist as one-stop shops for your casino access.
Smartwatches often exist as outgrowths of a mobile phone, so that is something to consider. Here, the operating system that your device uses will be important.
If you’re using an app then make sure you download it safely and from an approved site, either the casino site itself – once you know it’s legit – or from the app store dedicated to your operating system, for example, Apple’s App Store.
How to Find Smartwatch Casinos
As we’re still in the relatively early days of smartwatch use, a single listing, like the one attached to this article, is probably as good a start as any for finding a smartwatch casino site.
Industry-related sites – and we include ourselves here, full disclosure – are an interesting study in information and consumer power.
You are no doubt, not an idiot, and you probably understand how the industry works, with review sites sending users to casino sites. That creates something of a conflict of interest, though it’s not one you need to get overly paranoid about as it is exactly the same conflict that exists in any publication of any industry press, from music to motors.
So review sites are good. So are forums – if you trust them.
We’ll now go over how you should check out smartwatch casino sites and use them effectively.
Are Smartwatch casino sites safe?
That needs some unpacking.
If you want to use an online casino site you do need to be careful. The industry is now very regulated, and the vast majority of casino sites you encounter are legitimate and safe for you to use in that they are not going to rip you off, trick you, or risk your data or identity.
However, you do need to be mindful about your internet use around smartwatch casinos because scams are not impossible, and any online transaction comes with potential risk.
What are they?
Risks of Smartwatch Casino Sites
The risks of smartwatch casino sites are much the same as with any other online transaction.
In some ways, using a smartwatch casino is safer than standard online shopping because of the strict regulation imposed on the industry particularly in the UK.
This is your first and best safeguard. Never ever use a smartwatch casino site in the UK unless it has an up-to-date licence from the UK Gambling Commission.
Without that, you are on the wrong side of the law, and that’s the easiest way to end up in trouble without any recourse.
Legal, licensed sites are the only ones you should use, but you should also be sure that you’re obeying the law yourself. If there are legal reasons – your age, your territory – that you shouldn’t be using a site then you need to obey them. Sorry.
A licence will get you started, but you should be looking for more than basic safety.
How to Pick the Best Smartwatch Casinos
Safe, compatible sites are your only shopping shelf for smartwatch casinos.
After that, you can start to look for a few frills!
It should go without saying that you need to be sure that you can safely fund your casino site use. For this, you need a payment method that the site accepts.
Then you can see what payment methods they offer. The vast majority of sites will allow you to use banking payments (transfers and cards), e-wallets (PayPal is the archetype), prepaid cards and vouchers (Paysafecard for example), and mobile payment apps, typically Boku, pay by phone.
Apple users can use Apple Pay.
Payment methods should be checked out fully: make sure you’re clear about any charges (from either the smartwatch casino site or the payment processor). Read up on-site about how long payments take to be processed. Check what the limits on payments and withdrawals are.
The chief one limitation for smartwatch casino users is likely to be via using mobile phone payment methods. These methods use a phone bill to fund your account. It is possible that – as they are a form of credit gambling arguably – they will be banned in the not too distant future. Already they have the lowest transaction limits, usually around £30.
What are you going to do if you use a payment method and your account doesn’t register the payment?
That’s why you need to make a good check of the help and customer service information and options at a site.
Most casino sites are not particularly keen to hear from unhappy customers. It’s expensive to run helplines. This means they include a lot of information, usually in the form of an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page that is intended to head you off before you click send on your angry email. If it also provides good information then that is a great bonus. It should also be easy to find contacts for the actual customer service department. Most sites these days use a chat system as their first point of contact. Email addresses are preferred by some customers. A UK Freephone telephone line is even better. Check the hours these options are open, and how long they take to respond to queries.
Slots at Smartphone Casinos
We hope you’re smart enough to know to check out the safety record of any online casino site.
Once you have done so you can take a look at the reason why you’re at the site in the first place: games!
There are fewer games available on just smartwatches than on other devices: desktops can support virtually every slot ever made (though you may need to download or enable Flash for some older games), and smartphones and tablets (the new favourites of internet users) are catching up fast.
The smartwatch world is new territory so there are fewer games. Make sure you check out which games are available on your smartwatch at any site you want to use it on. Three-reel retro-style – “classic slots” in most industry parlance – is your best starting place for games that aren’t just available but that is easy to play on your smartwatch.
Slots are the bread and butter of most casino sites, but they also offer casino games in two forms, live and simulator.
Simulator games are played against a computer in the same way that a slot is. There are a few of these available for smartwatch casino players, with roulette and blackjack the enduring favourites of the scene.
Spinning the wheel and hitting 21 are also the most popular pursuits for live casino players.
Live casino games run exactly the same way as the games in a real casino do. The only difference is that the player can be anywhere, they are making decisions using an interface online, and they watch the action – and talk and listen to staff – over a filmed internet connection.
Live casino games for smartwatches are harder to find. On your phone, no problem, on your wrist… much less likely.
Advantages of Smartwatch Casinos
Smartwatches are secure and easy to use. They’re a cost-effective way to get online, most use two of the most trusted operating systems in the world, and they’re becoming more and more common. They can be secure.
Smartwatches are portable and instantly accessible. Even more than an internet smartphone they are with you and ready to go whenever you want to get online.
That means you can gamble on slots whenever you feel like it.
You have portable, access all the time, and that could be a disadvantage too.
Disadvantages of Smartwatch Casinos
We’re going to go into how to play smartwatch casino games safely later on. However, it shouldn’t take too much imagination for you to come up with an idea of why carrying your internet access on your wrist at all times could be a problem if you have a gambling problem.
There are also, for now, far fewer games available on a smartwatch than on other platforms.
There is also an issue with screen size. Most players will not make a smartwatch their first platform of play by choice, simply because the screens are so small.
This is changing, but most smartwatch casino players are using them for convenience and portability rather than to access superb visuals.
How to Play Smartwatch Casino Games Safely
You need to find safe sites to play smartwatch casino games on, and you need to keep yourself safe too.
This is – like most human activity – both tantalisingly simple in explanation and potentially incredibly complex in execution.
What we’re talking about here is the potential danger of gambling addiction. If you’re a new player and your only experience of the online gambling world is news coverage in the past few years then you’re almost certainly very aware of some horror stories about gambling addiction.
The industry in the UK is now under serious pressure to reform itself or face stricter legislation.
Until they do a lot of the responsibility for personal safety falls upon players, who need to do at least some self-education if they’re going to stay safe online.
Addiction is not a simple thing. It can hit anyone at any time and can be difficult to deal with. Gambling addiction is a real, behaviour addiction and recognised as such not just by online websites but by internationally recognised medical authorities. You should take this issue seriously.
And the first advice is not to take your gambling too seriously!
The industry’s slogan is: “When the fun stops. Stop.”
This is a great start to your safe gambling journey. Make your gambling about fun – not money. This flies against the popular perception of the industry and a lot of the industry’s own publicity, which heavily promotes the idea of big prizes, high rollers, and luxury lifestyles.
Leave all that stuff to the fantasy of advertising. If you enjoy games of chance and can do so healthily, then play them for fun. A little bit of research on how the gambling industry works, including individual ratings of slot games, will teach you that the industry is set up to deliver a profit – and does it very successfully. Then ask yourself where that profit comes from.
So don’t budget to win. In fact, the budget to lose everything you play with and never play with money that you cannot afford to lose.
Never play in order to chase or recover previous losses.
Never play when you are distressed or intoxicated. Be aware of any signs that you are using online gambling as a way to avoid real-life problems or responsibilities. Please, please, please don’t ever gamble because you need money in real life.
Your gambling should be fun and you should be able to talk openly about it. Feeling ashamed or uncomfortable about your gambling behaviour is an early warning sign of trouble.
There’s a lot you can do to keep yourself safe. Using licensed sites is the first and best of all precautions because it means you’ll have access to good quality advice on problem gambling. But you have to read it and follow it for it to have any effect.
You should use tools that websites provide too. They should allow you to set limits on your spending and on the time you spend on sites. They should allow you to set periods when you are going to stay away from a site, and they should allow you to permanently exclude yourself from a site.
The gambling industry relies on promotion to find new customers and to move customers from site to site. Promotion is all designed to promote more play, more spending, and more losses. Ask yourself if you really need to be receiving email updates from a gambling site because it is going to have one suggestion for you.
Stay safe and remember a smartwatch is a convenient way to get online, not a way to hide your behaviour.
Enjoy Smartwatch Casinos
Licensed safe sites and good quality smartwatch casinos are an amazing way to enjoy slots and online casino games for fun.
Shop around before you sign up at a site, but learn how to assess welcome offers before you do. Once you’re settled on a site we don’t think it’s such a great idea to shift around too often – a good quality smartwatch casino site ought to be worth a long-term commitment.