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Known in its infancy as Casino-on-Net and now stylised as 888casino, this brand is one of the oldest and most easily recognisable internet casinos around.
Having started life way back in 1997, 888casino has been there pretty much from the beginning of the internet casino boom. Although aimed at the Brits, it was the fact that online gambling was made legal out in Antigua that made licensing 888 possible and since then the firm has never looked back.
When 2002 rolled around the company launched a second casino and that essentially is when 888 was born, the brand striking a chord with players and establishing itself as a market leader very quickly. By 2005, 888casino had been voted the best casino operator of the year.
Despite its early focus on games developed in-house, 888 has expanded lots over the years and now uses familiar game providers such as NetEnt and PlayTech. In this review, we take a look at all they have to offer in terms of table games, slots, bonuses, payment options and what their customer service is really like.
Facts - 888 Casino
Play in £:Yes
Support:Support open 24h, Chat support, Phone support, Mail support
License:Yes, 888 Holdings plc
Game assortment:Casino, Live casino, Poker
Number of games:More than 400
Withdrawals processed within:24h
Double Your Money with the 888 Welcome Bonus
888casino’s current new player offer is their double your money bonus deal. It means you putting in a minimum £20 deposit, which we could argue is slightly on the steep side and doesn’t encourage totally new and inexperienced casino players to join in many of whom want to only risk £5 at first, with the chance to receive a 100% bonus.
The corridor for receiving this benefit is narrow, given that it comes with a £100 maximum, so £20 – £100 is all you’re aiming for here which suits neither the very small player, nor the whale. Any less and you won’t qualify, any more and you won’t be getting 100% back.
The wagering requirement attached to this deal is 30x which, while it is all too depressingly familiar within the online casino industry, is still pretty large – we feel. Remember that this means if you take advantage of the full deposit bonus by putting in an initial £100, then you’d need to bet a total of £3,000 in 90 days before being allowed to withdraw anything.
You can withdraw your initial deposit amount at any time of course, but the bonus conditions are still not the best we’ve seen in all honesty.
What might be better is to take advantage of 888’s Premium Welcome Package instead, with up to £1,500 in bonuses available in the first week if you are able to make the most of it.
The £20 minimum initial deposit still applies and also comes with an immediate 100% bonus (up to £100 as before) as well as up to £100 FreePlay. Within your first seven days with 888casino should you make more deposits, you can be credited with more bonuses.
Your 2nd – 5th deposits in this case must be wagered three times within a week of the first deposit, allowing you to receive 30% up to £350 Free Play per deposit. Bonus wins are capped at £500 and once again the 30x wagering requirement is in effect. If you know in advance that you may be willing and able to commit more money in the first week when you join, then the premium welcome package is the one for you.
There are definitely bonuses with better conditions out there, for example we’d like to see a smaller minimum deposit and a wagering requirement of no more than 25x, but the cash amounts possible as bonus wins are impressive enough to at least tempt us in.
Casino bonus - 888 Casino
Deposit 1100% up to £100Minimum deposit £20
A Myriad of Games
Given that 888casino has most of its poker games on a dedicated site, the games here are split into ‘slots and jackpots’, ‘casino games’, ‘slot races’ and ‘live casino’. There are enough to choose from, especially within the slots category, and the quality generally speaking is terrific.
888 offer over 100 high quality slots from a range of top developers such as Dragonfish, WMS, NetEnt, IGT, PlayTech, NextGen and others.
Allowing these developers in alongside their in-house games has led to a wide variety of bonus games, expanding wilds, major jackpots and free spins being available and this is very much a good thing.
Top slot games with 888 include The Big Lebowski, a game in which the jackpot is given out randomly regardless of the combination played, and Millionaire Genre which delves out tons of free spins and bonuses with another randomly awarded jackpot, something we love.
Before slot games completely blew up, all players really wanted was to get the reel feel of a casino by playing traditional table games online and at 888 they don’t disappoint in this sphere, at least not in terms of quality.
A total of 34 different games are on offer, all versions of popular games such as blackjack, roulette, keno, poker and baccarat.
Generally you can bet anywhere between £0.05 and £3,000 per hand, but the big players are also taken care of within games such as Super Stakes Roulette where players can bet £5 – £20,000 per hand.
The quality of these games is top notch and the interface is very good, but while 34 games may sound OK they do repeat a lot and there is more variation available elsewhere.
While the above variation isn’t overly impressive, it is perhaps explained by the fact that 888 puts greater emphasis on its live casino and that really shows.
Each game comes with plenty of info; payouts, how to play etc, with the live feed never dropping and the overall atmosphere being naturally much closer to that of a real, bricks and mortar casino.
Stakes tend to be bigger here and the variations wider, with £0.50 – £20,000 typical of a live table per hand meaning not only is the experience better, but the games cater to all types of players too.
Roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker are available to play with live dealers and so while we would once again like to see a little more variation, such as craps being introduced perhaps, the speed and quality of the games as well as the spread of money is definitely a good thing at 888casino.
What’s the Service Like at 888casino?
Having already checked out bonuses and games, the deciding factor when choosing an online casino has to be what sort of service you are offered by the house, in particular when it comes to them answering queries and giving plenty of choice in terms of banking options.
Deposits and Withdrawals
This area is a key strength of 888casino and clearly they have listened given that many a reviewer and many a player have said in the past that a lack of payment options is a major bugbear.
Here you can deposit or withdraw using Visa and MasterCard debit cards, bank transfer, Giropay, Trustly, Entropay, Skrill, WebMoney and crucially via PayPal too. PayPal payments are ever-increasing in popularity among online casino players and so it’s great to see 888 include the method.
We always recommend you speak to 888’s customer service team (see below) to ask about specific time frames as each payment method has different criteria in different territories, though many payments are instant and withdrawals are reasonably quick.
The customer support team at 888 runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which is a massive tick in the plus column straight away. This sort of business is one that frankly doesn’t sleep and we never fail to be amazed with online casinos that do not offer round-the-clock support to their players and customers.
The fact that you can contact customer services at absolutely any time means peace of mind, as any query can be handled quickly and any problem ironed out before it becomes a major issue.
In terms of how to contact 888casino, options are fair and we found that whatever method you choose, the firm will answer your questions quickly. The contact us button on the site automatically takes you to an online messaging form but with these, you can never be sure when they’ll be answered so they’re not our favourite.
To simply email 888 direct, hit them up at [email protected] and from there you should get an answer in a matter of hours. The live chat facility is probably the quickest way to get written answers quickly and is something you can use while still playing, but for those who don’t like typing at all there is still the option of the phone.
888 don’t tend to advertise very well that they have a phone line, but it is manned at 0203 859 4706. Whatever way you get in touch, advisers tend to be knowledgeable and friendly and queries are answered quickly enough for us to think this part of their offering is a positive one.
Articles about 888 Casino
888casino Pros and Cons
We strongly recommend you read through our review to get a proper feel for what 888 stands for and what they have to offer, but it’s also good just to get a snapshot of what we feel they are doing right and wrong. Here are the highlights (and lowlights!).
- Well established, in the business for over 20 years
- Up to £1,500 cashbacks for new players
- Over 100 high-quality slots
- Good customer service available 24/7
- PayPal option for deposits and withdrawals
- Tough wagering requirements at 30x
- Tight new player bonus corridor, £20 – £100
- Little variation in table games
As you can see, in our humble opinion the pros outweigh the cons at 888casino and this is something that should be expected of a firm that has been in the game for a long time.
Despite their age 888 are always looking for ways to improve, so adding some extra table games into the mix, including in the ‘live’ section, while lowering the minimum deposit for new players to receive a bonus would be simple fixes we believe would take 888 to the next level.
Overall though the offering at 888casino remains very strong in comparison with the majority of their competitors. Given that the quality of game play and the customer service must remain more important than bonus offers and the like, 888 are getting the fundamentals correct and that has to mean they are good overall which we believe they are.
Should you have any questions regarding bonuses, payment options, withdrawal times or fees, we’d recommend taking advantage of 888’s quality customer service. Even before you join you can contact them to iron out any of these issues before you commit your own cash, something they’d be pleased to help with.
How do I grab the 888 welcome bonus?
There is no promo code needed with 888, so simply get to their site, hit ‘join now’, go through the standard procedure and claim your bonus immediately!
If I win, how do I get my money?
You can choose to withdraw at any time and payments will take around 3-7 days, depending on the method. If you’ve claimed a bonus, you may only be able to withdraw the amount you deposited at first.
Where is 888casino based?
The firm who owns 888casino, Cassava Enterprises, is based in Gibraltar but they are fully licensed by the UK Gambling Commission to operate in the UK.
Is 888casino safe?
Yes. Their site is very well protected using the latest software so your details, both personal and financial, are not in any danger. Being licensed by the UK Gambling Commission means 888 has to adhere to certain strict guidelines.