There’s a big difference between social gambling on your mobile device and real money gambling. The main difference, of course, is that you can win actual money when you play real money gambling! It can be quite confusing trawling through all the casinos, slots, and lotteries available, both through your mobile web browser as well as through the App Store, in the form of downloadable apps.

When you think of social gambling, you may think of online casinos that are played through linking up with your social accounts (generally Facebook, for the most part). While this is often a part of many of the apps, such as Slotomania, where you log in and play via Facebook, what we are defining social gambling, in this case, is just playing for fun – where you don’t have the opportunity to win real money prizes. These games are always free to play, however, you have the opportunity to purchase tokens or coins through the game shop to top up your account.

Today we take a look at the difference between social gambling and real money gambling on Apple devices, as well as the differences between gambling through apps and gambling through your browser.

Legalities surrounding real money gambling

Real money gambling via your mobile device is only allowed in countries where laws have been passed that allow for this type of gambling online, or there are no laws in place that prevent it. Generally, you will find in countries that permit real money gambling online that the provider of the gambling facility will need to have a license to operate in that particular country.

However, with many countries, the restrictions lie squarely with the betting houses or casinos – there are often no rules in place that cover citizens themselves. This can often mean that although online betting is not allowed in your country, there is nothing stopping you legally from playing real money with gambling sites and apps offshore.

Real money gambling – on the apps

Luckily for Apple device owners, the iOS app store has long been a source of real money gambling apps – albeit with a few caveats in place for developers to meet before the app is accepted in the store. For the App Store, these rules include:

  • Ensuring you are only offering gambling services in markets where they are legal, you have the relevant licenses, and you comply fully with the rules of the jurisdiction
  • The app will not allow in-app purchases or fund transfers
  • The app will have geo-restrictions in place to discourage players from other regions
  • The app will be free

And as for Android? Well, as of August 2017, Google now allows real money gambling apps in the Play store – with a few provisos, of course. The application to have a real money gambling app on the Play store is fairly strenuous. The app itself must pass the following rules:

  • Be only available in UK, Ireland, and/or France
  • Have measures in place to prevent players from other countries joining in
  • Have a valid gambling license for the country
  • Strictly follow the gambling laws of each jurisdiction
  • Underage preventions in place
  • Cannot use Google payments
  • App must be free to download
  • Must display warnings able responsible gambling
  • Rated as adult content

As you can see, there are some pretty strict rules that developers need to comply with before being accepted on both the iOS and Google app stores. This can make things a little tricky, as well as lead to extended amounts of time before apps are released.  This guide by will help find real money casinos offering no deposit offers. This is the recommended way to test a casino app.

Social gambling apps

Social gambling apps come under a different banner than real money gambling apps. Unlike real money gambling apps, social gambling apps are just for fun – you can’t cash out your “money” or tokens, nor exchange them for prizes. What you are able to do though, is to trade or gift them with other players in the game.

Social gambling apps work in just the same way as real money gambling apps but without the option to lose (or win) real money through gambling. While the rules for these social gambling apps are still strict – both for the iOS App Store and Google’s Play Store – they do not need to comply with any particular country or legislative rules. The only rules that will govern these apps are the rules set out in their respective app stores.

There are plenty of social gambling apps available on the iOS app store, with a huge number of players getting involved. The fact that you don’t stand to lose your hard earned cash through the app makes it a safer option for players – although you do have to be careful that you don’t end up purchasing too many top ups for tokens in their store.

Real money gambling and social gambling via the browser

While both app stores are fairly heavy handed with their rules surrounding acceptance of gambling apps to their platforms, the other way that skips over all these restrictions is browser-based gambling websites. These gambling websites have been developed specifically for mobile play in mind, so the websites are enhanced specifically for phone and tablet users.

With a browser-based gambling website, the provider is pretty much free to do as they please, when it’s a social gambling website. For real money gambling websites, the website needs to be licensed for play in a particular jurisdiction. While it may be illegal for these companies to offer their services in other countries, individual players from other countries are generally not able to be prosecuted under any arm of the law.

In general, you will be able to find a wider selection of playable gambling via your phone’s browser than via apps on your iPhone, simply because it’s easier for companies to produce browser-based games than it is for them to produce apps. Give both styles of gaming (app and browser) and both types of gaming (social and real money) a go to see what suits you best.