There was a time not all that long ago when very few casino sites were Mac compatible. Mac users were forced to either choose from a short list of Mac-friendly casinos or run 3rd party programs and emulators such as WineHQ and Parallels to run casino and poker software. That’s finally a thing of the past as it’s now pretty much standard for online casinos to provide alternatives for their Mac customers.
If you run a Mac and want to gamble online, you have options. My purpose today is to introduce you to those options and make a few recommendations. By the time you leave this page, you’ll have everything you need to turn your Mac into your own personal casino.
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Best Mac Compatible Online Casinos
Let’s start with the meat of the subject. If you came here looking for recommendations and not a lot of talk, here’s your list. Each of these operators has either a Mac-friendly download or instant play option that requires no download at all.
It should also be noted that these are all safe gambling sites. These days, there are a lot of Mac-friendly casinos so we’re not reduced to scraping the bottom of the barrel here. We get to be picky, so I’ve only listed the safest places to play.
Now, let’s talk about how the best Mac casinos actually work. There are two methods casinos use to cater to their high class Mac clientele: no download games and actual software downloads designed specifically for Macs.
No-Download Instant Play Casinos
This is by far the most common method brands employ to make their games Mac-friendly. Instead of going through all the trouble of designing separate software just for Macs, they simply offer their games online without requiring a download at all. Any modern web browser can render the latest 3D games without you ever downloading a thing.
This kills two birds with one stone. First, it makes every game in the casino Mac compatible. As long as you have a halfway decent internet connection, it doesn’t matter what OS you’re on. Second, the instant play option caters to their Windows customers who don’t want to download anything.
You can choose this option by visiting the casino website, signing up for an account and then clicking on the words “instant play” the next time you visit the website. You’ll be asked to log in and then you’ll be granted access to the full range of no-download games.
There are both pros and cons to no-download casinos.
- You can play form any computer, anywhere at any time. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a Mac, Windows or some geeky Ubuntu machine; you can play without compatibility issues.
- You can test the casino’s games and software without going through the trouble of downloading and installing anything.
- The quality of instant play software has improved markedly in recent years. These days, the differences in performance are minimal.
- The graphics and sound quality may not be on part with the full download. This is becoming less of an issue as time passes, but it’s still something to consider.
- You need to have a decent internet connection to keep the games running smooth. This won’t be a problem for 99% of the people reading these words.
- Games take a little longer to load and more prone to lag. These issues are minor and have never stopped me from having a good time.
- The biggest drawback is that no-download casinos almost always have fewer games than the full download option. The good news is this is slowly changing as well. Some of the bigger European casino sites have actually gone exclusively no-download in recent years. This is a promising trend.
Despite a couple potential minor downsides, I highly recommend going with the no-download option. It’s just so much faster and easier these days to log in at the casino website and start playing right away. That’s just one of the many advantages of an internet that grows increasingly robust every year.
Mac casino software is a rare thing these days. I’m not aware of very many casino sites that have actual Mac software that you download and install on your computer. The vast majority of gambling websites just direct Mac customers to the instant play option.
If you do find a casino with Mac software, it works just like any other program. Just save the software, run the installer and follow the instructions on the screen. You can sign up for an account from within the software or at the casino website. It’s all a simple process and you should be ready to go in minutes.
Again, casinos with actual Mac software are pretty darn rare. I don’t know of any casinos with this option that I’d feel comfortable recommending. It would be best to just prepare yourself to play the no-download version on your Mac. Instant play casinos have come a long ways in recent years.
Choosing the Best Mac Casinos
Finding the best Mac gambling site is no different than finding the best sit when playing on PCs. In fact, considering that most websites now offer some sort of option for Mac users, the best casinos are really one in the same.
These are the qualities I suggest you look for in an online casino:
- Regional Market: Finding casino sites that accept players from where you live is important for obvious reasons.
- Reputable: It is absolutely mandatory that you avoid casinos with poor reputations. Predatory operators based out of third world countries with lax gaming laws are still a problem. Stick with the casinos on this page and you’ll be in good hands.
- Games: Make sure the casino has the games you want. Most of the common games like blackjack and craps will be available, but not all variations like Spanish blackjack are.
- Banking Options: If you have any hopes of winning real money, you’ll have to make a real money deposit at some point. It helps immensely to choose a casino with the deposit methods that make it easy for you to fund your account and claim your winnings.
- Bonus/VIP Program: It’s always smart to look at a casino’s promotions, including the Welcome bonus, reload bonuses and VIP program. Bonuses aren’t the end-all, be-all of online gambling, but they definitely pad the bottom line.
This is all pretty simple, really. The best Mac casinos are the ones that treat you well from beginning to end. The keys to a fun time with online gambling are to ensure you get fair games, safe financial transactions and fast withdrawals. The rest is a matter of taste.
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.