You wouldn’t know it looking at online casinos today.
But a few years ago you’d be hard-pressed to find one compatible with a Mac. They simply didn’t exist.
Instead casinos offered a download for PCs. Everyone else – including those on Macs and Linux OS’ – were on their own. They had to find another option.
Those options still exist today. We’re going to talk about them later. But you don’t have to use them. Not at the majority of online casinos anyway. And that’s because most casinos nowadays cater to Mac players.
Our favorite Mac-compatible casinos for 2020 are listed below. Read our reviews (if necessary), then click the link to visit your top choice and create an account.
Everyone else – the rest of this page will be information about gaming on your Mac. This includes a short brief about how online casinos and Macs work together today, the pros/cons of Mac gambling and how to get around an incompatible casino. Then we’ll finish up with a short FAQ.
Ready to get started?
How Online Casinos & Macs Work Together Today
So, what’s different about today? Why is it so much easier to find a compatible casino now than a few years ago? What changed?
For starters, the computer market shifted. No one thought at the time that Apple would grab the market share they did. That they would become competitive.
But instead of creating a download, what most casinos have done is create a browser casino. You play the casinos games from your web browser – no download necessary. All you need is a browser compatible with Java or Flash – what the casinos use to run their games. Safari, Chrome and FireFox should all work.
That’s how most Mac-compatible casinos work. Nowadays these casinos are called browser, no download, Flash or Java casinos. Any one of those casinos should work for you.
And there are pros/cons for each. We’ll take a look at those now.
Pros & Cons to Browser Compatible Casinos
No doubt it’s great that casinos now have an option for Mac players. However, there are a couple of downsides – two complaints I’ve heard over and over again.
Lack of Games
For some reasons, casinos would only include 2/3 or 3/4 of their game library in their no download casino. Most of the basics are covered – blackjack, slots, craps, roulette, etc. – but many game variations are excluded.
The best example of who does this is Real Time Gaming. Most of their browser casinos have a fraction of the games you’ll find in their download.
Lower Quality Software
Another complaint is the software, and how it’s a lower quality than the software and games in the download. Usually the graphics don’t look as good, the games are a bit slower, and so on.
That’s what other people say anyway. Your mileage will vary. We’ve never had a problem with a browser casino’s game variety or software. But it’s also possible the upsides, for us, outweighed the downsides.
What are some of the pros of a no download casino? Well, for starters:
You don’t have to download heavy, resource-sucking files. You don’t have to worry about your computer having the right specs or space to handle such a large download.
You don’t have to download games you won’t play. Many casinos have you download their entire suite of games, even if you plan to play a game or two.
You can play from any computer, so long as you have internet access. This means you can play while you travel.
There’s more privacy. A download (or, at least, the files on your computer) can lead to someone finding out that you’re gambling online. But maybe you don’t want them to know?! Playing strictly online can keep that your little secret.
And nowadays you’ll get access to most, if not all the casino games – which includes options like progressive jackpots, blackjack, roulette and video poker variations, and live dealer games.
So, for us, the pros far outweigh any downsides. This option is as good as any.
But, what if you don’t want to go the no download route? What if you want to download the casino’s software? What are your options then?
Options for Mac Players Who Want to Download Software
I’m going to cheat a bit on my first suggestion.
If you play at a newer or updated casinos, or one that accepts (only) bitcoin, you’ll still play from your browser. The difference, though, is these casinos will be using HTML5 instead of Java or Flash.
Here’s why that matters:
Sites built with HTML5 are mobile responsive. This means you can visit the same site on any device and it’ll fit your screen. The best way to see this in action is to visit an HTML5-made casino and then manually resize your browser.
The HTML5 markup code includes native code for videos and games. This means outside scripts won’t be needed, or not needed as often. This means compatibility with more devices and faster loading times.
Most HTML5 casinos nowadays are bitcoin casinos. But my guess is we’ll see this change over the next couple of years as more and more casinos update their sites/software. And, as more and more people use their mobile devices instead of their computers.
This will be great for Macs, too.
Okay, I’m done cheating. Let’s look at what options you have if you prefer to download the software.
Your options include:
You can use a program like Parallels, Boot Camp or VW Fusion to run the Windows operating system on your Mac. Then you can run whatever program you want on it, including a casino’s download.
The most common complaint I’ve heard about emulators is the games might lag some. But my guess is that’s less of an issue for people with current hardware that meet or exceed the minimum specs to run the casino download.
A dual boot is a more advanced option. What you do is install two different operating systems on your computer. Then when you turn your computer on, you’ll be able to choose which operating system you want to use. If this is the route you want to take, here’s one starting point provided by Apple.
Mac players have no shortage of options if they want to gamble online. Not anymore.
And it’s like I said – the easiest, fastest and most convenient option is to go the no download route that most online casinos provide. All the better if you can find a casino using HTML5 programming.
However, you do have options if you’re hell bent on downloading the software. Just beware that you might need an above-average level of tech savvy, or access to someone who does, to get an emulator or dual boot setup running.
Now let’s wrap things up by answering a few commonly asked questions.
Mac Casino FAQ
What games can you play on your mac?
It depends on the casino. As I said earlier, many casinos include only a portion of their entire gaming suite into their browser casino.
However, many new or updated casinos – those on HTML5 – offer all their games through their browser casino. In fact, they don’t even have a download.
And, it’s not always this black and white. Sometimes a browser casino WILL include all their games. You just never know. That is, until you read our reviews and/or you check out their software using a free account.
But you will find all games available to Macs. That includes blackjack, pai gow, baccarat, slots, roulette, craps, progressive jackpots, side games, video poker, live dealer games, keno, scratch tickets, and more.
Can you still get bonuses?
Yes. Nothing changes for Mac players outside of the games and software. I can’t think of a casino that offers a different bonus, or no bonus at all, for players on Macs.
Can I still get VIP rewards?
Yes. It’s the same thing as bonuses – Mac players should get access to all the same bonuses, VIP programs and other promos the casino offers.
Does the sign up process change?
Not really. The only difference you might notice is that you’ll sign up through the website (your browser) instead of through the download. But everything else should be the same.
How do you choose a casino?
Since Mac compatible casinos aren’t in short supply, I’d approach them the same way I’d approach a casino playing from my PC. That means I’d:
Find a list of legit online casinos. By that, I mean they are licensed, regulated, have their games tested, good feedback and history.
Read the reviews for each one to find the ones with the games, offers and banking options I want to play and use.
Then pick one or two and get signed up.
The best place to start are the casinos at the top of this page.