Founded in 1997, 888 Casino is one of, if not the longest serving casino operator in the industry. Most UK players will be familiar with 888 from its long and extensive offline branding campaigns. Although age has allowed a few small cracks to appear in certain areas, this operator’s penchant for promotions is something that makes it a perfect place for novices to pick up some extra value. And in recent years its upped its game by adding a portfolio of slots from other developers to its own in-house collection.
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Pros & Cons
- Well established reputation
- Plenty of promotions
- Good apps and mobile site
- Unique in-house games
- High roller welcome bonus
- Desktop site can lag
- In-house games look slightly dated
- Poor customer support
- 72hrs Pending payments period
Welcome Bonus and Special Offers
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If you’re a complete newbie, 888casino is an ideal place to start your iGaming journey for one simple reason: you can get £888 in potential value without making a deposit. Now, it’s important to note that we’re not simply calling this an “ideal place to start” because we have some allegiance to the 888Casino. In fact, we don’t have any real allegiances when it comes to our online casino reviews. However, we do call things as we see them and the £888 no deposit welcome bonus is something that new players will find useful.
Another reason this welcome reward is interesting is because it isn’t simply a case of “sign-up and get XX for free”. No, with this deal, you’ll have to spin the 888 Bonus Wheel to determine the size of your bonus. Once you’ve created your first account, you’ll get to spin the wheel and unlock a no deposit bonus worth between £15 and £888 in free play credits to use them on one of nine games. When you compare this to other sites, the value of the bonus does decrease slightly because most platforms give you a set amount of cash to use on any game. However, it’s worth noting that there are seven progressive jackpot games in the list, including Millionaire Genie.
Although FreePlay credits can’t be withdrawn, you will be able to claim your winnings once you’ve wagered 30X the amount you’ve won via your bonus chips. For example, if you used £100 in FreePlay credits to win £10 in cash, you’d have to wager £300 within 90 days to unlock your winnings. This policy is the same for the 888casino welcome bonus where a 100% multiplier up to a maximum of £100 in cash will be applied to all deposits of £20 or more. Although this welcome bonus is slightly smaller than many in the industry, the combined value of these deals is what makes them great for lows stakes players.
But what if I’m a high roller? Not a problem. The Premium Welcome Bonus allows you to bank up to £1,500 in free credits. Valid for seven days and spread over five deposits, this deal starts with a 100% multiplier before dropping to 30% for your four subsequent deposits.
Continuing its theme of offering plenty of promotions, 888casino has a different deal every day of the week. For example, play Live Blackjack at an 888VIP table between 1pm and 1am on any given day and you could win a share of £1,200 in bonuses. Similarly, play Live Roulette between 8pm and 9pm (GMT) and you’ll win £8 in bonus cash each time an 8 spins in.
Beyond these bonuses, the first day of the month is your chance to become one of 26 lucky winners. Simply login on the first of the month and you could be picked to win a share of £888 in FreePlay credits. On top of this, you can also take part in regular slot races where you can win a share of £10,000 in FreePlay credit. Additionally, for high volume players, comp points can be turned into cash at a rate of 150 points for £1. To earn a single point, you’ll need to wager £10. Finally, the top raking players will get access to an invite-only VIP scheme where they’ll receive customised offers, better cash incentives and tickets to special events.
Overall, when you piece all of these elements together, 888casino does standout as one of the more impressive sites when it comes to promotions and bonuses.
Software and Games
888casino offers instant play platform that’s powered by HTML5 technology. In practical terms, this means you won’t have to download any software to join the action and, moreover, you can ante-up using any device. Beyond its mechanics, the interface operates in two settings: browsing window or full-screen mode. Whichever option you choose, 888casino is a highly stylised platform. Instead of a large gaming grid overseen by a list of headers, 888’s designers kick things off with images. Put simply, when you want to play slots, you click on the large image that has “slots” underneath it.
Once you’ve done that, a new page will load and you’ll be shown a submenu that then calls up a game grid filled with options. One potential issues players may have with the layout of the site is that you’ll have to scroll sideways and now up/down as you do at other sites. Having said this, we did find the tab system useful. Essentially mimicking the dynamics of an internet browser, this system feels intuitive and does bring a touch of clarity to the overall experience.
When it comes to gaming options, 888casino is part of Cassava Enterprises which has its own software division (Random Logic). This means that 888casino has some exclusive games that you can only find at a handful of sites under the Cassava banner. Although some argue that the overall quality and in-game dynamics of these games are slightly dated, you can’t deny that offering unique games is a selling point. Indeed, the most prominent in-house game is Millionaire Genie with its progressive jackpot that regularly top £1 million.
On top of its own games, in the last couple of years 888 bulked up its selection by bringing in slots from other developers including Cryptologic, IGT and Merkur Gaming. This is a step in the right direction but we’d like to see some slots from the real top notch slots games providers such as Netent, Betsoft, Yggdrasil etc
Beyond Millionaire Genie, you’ll find practice and real money games, including: slots, roulette, keno, blackjack, video poker, baccarat and live dealer tables. Overall there’s 133 slots, 20 progressives, 11 roulette games, 8 blackjacks and 7 live dealer games. It’s still a fairly small collection of games but more than enough for new players to the UK casino scene.
Another selling point for 888casino is that it offers slot races. Otherwise known as tournaments, these games allow the competitive among you to be rewarded for being the best spinner of the day. Overall, although some of 888casino’s games are a little basic, the fact you can get access to some unique content is great and should give seasoned players something different to try.
Finally, 888 of course is an all in one online gaming destination with 888Poker, 888Sports and 888Ladies all accessible from the same website, user account and playing wallet. Unlike other multi-site platforms where normally the betting site dominates with the casino, poker and bingo room being ‘tack-on’s (yes, that’s you Bet365), at 888 each platform is a top destination in its own right.
Boasting a 3.7/5 rating in the Apple Store, 888casino’s mobile app is just as colourful as its desktop counterpart. Indeed, regardless of whether you download the iOS or Android app, you’ll get a variety of mobile-specific features. Perhaps the most impressive from a security perspective is the fact you can use the iPhone’s TouchID instead of a standard password. This is arguably the safest way to protect your account and the reason why iPhone players may prefer the app to the desktop platform.
Something else we found impressive about the 888casino app was the layout. Although the desktop interface stands out in terms of colour and design, the app is slicker in terms of switching between games and options. Naturally, you’ll swipe and tap to move between menus, but the main reason the app feels slightly more efficient is because it uses a modern layout. This isn’t to say the desktop platform isn’t efficient. However, it is different from the norm and, for us, the use of simple headings and gaming grids (which you scroll down) is better in a mobile setting.
Deposit and Withdrawal
Alongside standard payment methods such as Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Skrill, 888casino allows you to make deposits using Apple Pay. This is a fairly new system and something that makes mobile iPhone deposits much more efficient and secure.
Withdrawal times depend upon the method used: e-wallets 24-48 hrs, credit / debit cards 3-5 days and bank transfers up to 7 days. One thing to point out is 888’s very long pending period of 72 hrs, meaning that they won’t start to process a payment till 72 hrs has elapsed. Add this pending period to a possible 5 day wait for a CC withdrawal and it can be up to 8 days before a VISA withdrawal hits your bank account.
Security & Trustworthiness
888casino has been around since 1997 and that makes it one of the oldest sites in the game. During its time in the business, it’s established a reputation as a safe place to play. Using SSL encryption, secure payment methods and the regulatory oversight of the UK Gambling Commission, it’s hard to argue that 888casino isn’t trustworthy. However, if you take a look through some comments online, 888casino doesn’t always receive the best feedback.
Now, in some respects, this comes with the territory. When you’ve been around for so long, people are always going to take a swipe at you. However, while we can ignore comments such as “this site is rigged” (each game is certified as fair), people have had issues with bonuses and the software. Although individual instances of players not receiving certain bonuses may be down to the player not completing certain steps correctly, the software is a more general issue. Reports of pages crashing when moving back-and-forth does crop up across gambling message boards.
During our review, we didn’t experience any of these issues. However, it is something you may want to note. Indeed, this actually takes us back the point we made in the mobile section. Because the mobile software is newer, it actually performs slightly better than its older, slightly dated desktop counterpart.
On the plus side 888 is very transparent detailing on its e-cogra payout % – 96.8% across all games and 97.9% for slots.
If you’re ever in need of a helping hand, 888casino provides a 24/7 support service via email and phone. For the former, you can use an internal form, while the latter is a free phone UK number: +44 203 876 8708.
Some negative feedback on the 888 customer support team can be found on player forms criticizing both the speed and quality of response. Beyond the traditional contact methods, @888casino on Twitter is a great way to keep up-to-date with the latest offers and interact with the team. Basically, if you throw up a distress signal, 888casino’s support team will usually find you.
New players will find enough games to keep them busy at 888 Casino, and will feel assured playing at a publicly listed company and multiple EGR ‘Best Online Casino of the Year’ award winner. Similarly players looking for a place to place bets, play poker or bingo from the same platform will also find 888 a great, if not perfect destination. For players who’ve been around the ‘UK online casino block’, 888 may not be so appealing though and may be better off playing at casinos with 500+ slot games libraries.
Still, having recently bolsted its slots collection 888 has shown that its still got the hunger to compete. Whilst other casinos launched at the tail end of the 90s have fallen by the wayside, 888 is still there, a giant in the industry. For many players 888 Casino is their first step into the world of online gaming and it may be yours too,Claim Bonus