The 888Casino Review – One of the Giants
Few of the market leading casino companies can trace their roots back to the last century, but the world-renowned 888.com is an operator that bucks this trend and 888Casino is unarguably up there among the cream of online gaming provides.
In fact, 888 Holdings have been a key player in the iGaming market for more than 20 years, having been founded by the Israeli brothers Aaron and Avi Shaked and Ron Ben-Yitzeh way back in 1997.
As a result, this prominent casino and sports betting firm remains synonymous with the evolution of online gambling in the UK, which has come a long way since the rudimentary technology of the mid-1990s.
The 888 brand has certainly enjoyed some significant milestones in its 21-year history, including being listed on the London Stock Exchange in the mid-noughties and banking in excess of $454 million globally back in the year ending March 2014.
The operator also boasts more than 25 million members and a plethora of industry awards to its name, while its proprietary software is unsurprisingly among the best of any online casino firm.
In this full and comprehensive review, we’ll cast our eyes over the iconic 888 casino platform, while asking whether or not this is the right iGaming brand for you!
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- Freeplay bonus
- Established casino
- Limited selection of jackpot games
888 Casino Quick Facts
|Number of Games||300+|
888 Casino Info
VISA, Mastercard, Local Debit Cards, Apple Pay, ecoPayz, iDebit, MuchBetter, NETELLER, PayPal, Skrill, WebMoney, Wire Transfer, Qiwi VISA Virtual, Bank Transfer, Boleto, Diners credit card, Trustly
Live-Chat, Phone, Email
Games and Bonuses
Despite being one of the longest-serving iGaming brands, 888.com retains a fresh and extremely innovative approach to engaging its customers.
This approach is evident both in the brand’s welcome bonuses (which include a generous deposit match and a no-strings attached casino promotion) and its wider range of offers for existing players, which tend to be targeted in their nature and capable of delivering value to specific audiences.
But what exactly is in the 888 welcome bonus, and what are the other lucrative promotions that they can benefit from once they’ve registered with the site? Let’s take a look:
What’s in the 888.com Welcome Bonus?
At present, 888.com is offering a 100% first deposit match up to the value of £100. This is based on a minimum deposit of £10, and new players who credit their account with £100 will subsequently have £200 with which to play.
This bonus will be automatically applied to your account once you’ve completed the registration process, while this promotion is available to everyone regardless of which currency you use to complete a deposit.
Unlike most welcome packages promoted by online casinos, the 888.com also offers a free play bonus that does not require you to make a deposit. Instead, the brand will reward with new players with £88 in casino free play, which must be claimed within 48 hours of receiving the promotional email from the brand.
This bonus can essentially be broken down into four separate £22 offers, which must be used on blackjack, roulette, slots and poker iterations respectively. Any winnings earned during this time will be placed in a temporary account, while a maximum of £5 from each game can be transferred to your main account.
Ultimately, the primary objective is to win £5 on each game before you lose the £22 in free play funds, and if successful this could translate into a £20 windfall for your real play account. These funds can then be used play live roulette online or any other game across the whole of the 888.com casino, which represents a real boon whatever your taste in online gambling!
Are there any other Promotions Available?
While this may seem like a slightly convoluted promotion, the welcome bonus is extremely innovative and has certainly captured the imagination of players in the UK. The same principle can also be applied to some of the operator’s additional promotions, which are highly targeted and aimed at specific player demographics.
New registrants can also qualify for £20 of free play with 888poker, with the value of this bonus released incrementally across seven days of it being claimed. Once again, this promotion is not conditional on you crediting your account, although players must accumulate 2.5 bonus points for every single £1 that they wager.
Newcomers to 888ladies will also receive a 150% bingo bonus and a 150% games bonus up to the value of £100 when making a deposit. So, players who place the minimum deposit of £10 will see their account credited with £40, with players able to deploy this across both slots and bingo games.
Terms and Conditions of the Welcome Bonus
Not only must players claim the free play bonus within 48 hours of the offer being extended, but it will also expire after 14 days. There are also some fairly strict wagering requirements too, with players expected to bet the value of the bonus 30-times when playing slots before they can make a withdrawal.
The wagering requirements increase to 150-times the value of the bonus across roulette and table poker games, while this rises to a prohibitive 300-times for players of blackjack, baccarat and video poker. Game weightings also vary across different games, so be sure to review these here before making a commitment.
The 100% deposit match welcome promotion is also subject to wagering requirements of 30-times the value of the original bonus. So, to withdraw a bonus with the value of £20 and any associated winnings, you’ll need to wager £600 with 888.com.
If you decided to take advantage of the 888ladies bonus, you should also note that bonus wins are capped at £100. Not only this, but the value of the bonus is also subject to wagering requirements of 50-times, so the amount that you have to play through will vary depending on how much you deposit.
What Games are Available to Players?
If you’re a seasoned frequenter of UK casinos online, you’ll probably be a little disappointed with the full range of games at 888.com. While there are casinos with a wider and more diverse selection of titles, however, the games at 888 deliver noticeably high pay-out rates while there’s plenty to engage both casual and serious gamblers alike.
In total, there are more than 300 casino games available online at 888, with classic and video slots accounting for around 180 of these. The latter selection includes an impressive 29 jackpot slots, meaning that there some huge progressive prizes on offer to players with a hefty enough bankroll.
Heading this cast is the world-renowned Millionaire Genie, which regularly sees its jackpot reach into the millions and once paid out a staggering $4.3 million to a player who had placed a meagre $1.50 wager. Another popular slot game is the iconic Raging Rhino, which boasts an enormous 4096 winning combinations and delivers frequent base game triumphs to players.
The operator also deserves credit for its exceptional live platform, which is second to none in the iGaming market. Unsurprisingly, this platform is powered by market leaders Evolution Gaming, which recently secured the coveted EGR award for the Best Live Casino Supplier for the 6th year in a row. It’s also home to various roulette and blackjack iterations, along with popular poker games like Casino Hold ‘em.
888 Casino Mobile App
With more than 25 million members, it stands to reason that 888.com should be one of the most accessible iGaming brands on the market. This is reflected by its approach to mobile gameplay, with the operator’s website available through both a dedicated app and a mobile web browser.
Overall, the flash-based mobile website boasts a selection of more than 170 games, which is more than half of the titles available through the desktop platform. The app features a more restrictive range of 60 games, however, although these are among the best and most rewarding on the market.
Interestingly, there are only minimal requirements for accessing the 888 mobile app through both Apple and Android handsets. In the case of the former, you can download the 888 app with iOS 6.0 or later, while those who don’t own an iPhone can access the app with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and above. You can see the full operating system requirements below.
However, one potential downside is that the app cannot be downloaded on Windows or Blackberry handsets, although Microsoft does allow players to access to 888 casino through a mobile browser.
The operator’s vast selection of live casino games is also replicated on the mobile app, with a huge range of roulette tables hosting interesting iterations. There are also a large number of high-stakes live blackjack tables accessible, while card games like Casio Hold ’em and Baccarat can also be played in real-time.
In fact, the only noticeable absentee from the live casino is the low-stakes Three Card Poker and Blackjack Party games, but all-in-all Evolution Gaming have provided a superb offering to all 888 customers who are on the move.
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Payment Options and Currencies
When it comes to payment options, 888.com offers a surprisingly wide selection to its players. This contributes towards a largely positive user experience, and one that isn’t compromised by low or restrictive monthly withdrawal limits.
However, it’s fair to surmise that the pending time surrounding withdrawals is a little prohibitive, as the operator has been known to take up to five days to verify transactions made from your account.
Still, 888.com was one of the first iGaming brands to allow payments to and from PayPal, while the brand has also extended its options to include ApplePay and wire transfer.
What’s the Minimum Deposit?
As with most casinos, the minimum deposit at 888.com is fixed at £10. This applies whether you’re looking to qualify for the welcome bonus or credit your account as an existing player, although some bonuses may feature specific terms and conditions that alter the minimum deposit value (check the relevant T&Cs to find out more).
Interestingly, there are also more than 20 ways in which you can credit your 888 account, including tried-and-trusted options such as MasterCard, Visa, Visa Electron and PayPal. If you’re a verified player, these transactions will often be completed instantaneously and the funds will show in your account straight away.
Once again, you can also utilise a huge range of e-wallets to process deposits, including Neteller and its subsidiary Boleto, iDebit, Skrill, Trustly, Nordea, WebMoney and Yandex Money. All transactions completed through these platforms will be instantaneous, while they won’t be subject to any additional fees or charges.
You can also use Apple Pay to immediately credit your account, along with bank drafts or wire transfers (which may take between three and five working days to complete). The Paysafe card is also a viable payment method, although this may apply a charge of 3.9% for every completed transaction.
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What’s the Maximum Withdrawal?
In the age of responsible gambling, operators are increasingly inclined to impose withdrawal limits on their players. While 888.com is included in this list, they have at least set a competitive limit of $30,000 (or around £20,000) per month and effectively catered to the needs of high-rolling and high stakes players.
They’ve also provided an impressive 18 withdrawal methods to players, including staple options such as Visa, Visa Electron and MasterCard. As we’ve already said, players can also withdraw their cash into a PayPal account, while Entropay, Apple Pay and wire transfer provide convenient but niche payment solutions.
In terms of e-wallets, options such as Neteller, Skrill, WebMoney, iDebit, MuchBetter and EcoPayz are also readily available to players. Outside of the pending transaction time, these platforms can take up to 24 hours to process payments, and in this respect they work in a similar way to credit and debit cards.
This site also allows players to withdraw cash by bank transfer, with this type of transaction typically taking up to two hours on average. This is noticeably quick in the iGaming market, and it undoubtedly affords 888 a competitive edge over their rivals.
What Currencies can you use?
888’s vast army of casino players come from all over the world, and the brand therefore has a strong international focus. This is reflected by the range of available currencies, which includes popular options from Europe to North America.
More specifically, players can credit their 888.com account with Euros, Danish kroner, the Swedish kroner, U.S. Dollar and the Great British pound, depending on their jurisdiction and the country in which they reside.
What’s the User Experience Like?
Over its 20 year history, 888.com has seen the iGaming market evolve beyond all recognition. The brand has therefore worked tirelessly to keep pace with the incredible pace of change within the sector, with the user experience that it delivers to players testament to this.
This approach is also reflected by the range of betting limits on offer, which create high and low variance games that are suitable for both casual and serious gamblers alike. Some slots will let you play for a little as £0.01 per spin, for example, while higher variance games will allow you to wager up to £500 per single spin.
Beyond this, 888 also runs a lucrative VIP Club that has been designed to reward the brand’s most loyal patrons, and this undoubtedly adds a unique dimension to the overall user experience. Membership is available to anyone who has accumulated 150,000 Comp Points (which are awarded every time you make a bet), and this can reward you with premium bonus offers, higher deposit limits and a birthday gift!
When you consider these features alongside the casino’s compelling live platform and comprehensive list of game’s providers, it’s clear that 888.com is committed to delivering a high quality user experience to players. But what else should you expect as an 888 member?
What Game Providers are here?
We spoke earlier about 888.com’s market leading proprietary software, which was originally developed back in 1996. This software (888 Gaming) has been continually upgraded during the subsequent 22 years, to the point where it has become the most sophisticated casino platform in the industry (and one that delivers a number of superb games to players).
To supplement this, 888.com has forged strong partnerships with some of the most innovative game developers in the whole of the iGaming market, including Playtech, IGT (WagerWorks), NextGen Gaming, WMS (Williams Interactive) and Blueprint Gaming.
The site also collaborates prolifically with the market-leading developers NetEnt, who are responsible for many of the 185 slot games that are currently available on the desktop version of the casino. However, 888’s most popular slots have been designed and developed by the brand’s in-house team, including the aforementioned Millionaire Genie.
The real-time gaming experience continues to be powered by Evolution Gaming, whose live dealer poker, blackjack and roulette iterations offer incredibly authentic gameplay to competitors. Evolution Gaming must also take credit for the mobile-friendly nature of 888’s live casino platform, which is considered to be one of the best on the market.
In many ways, the 888 casino platform is one of the most accessible in the marketplace. After all, while the mobile app cannot be accessed through Windows or Blackberry handsets, most players can log in using mobile browsers and downloadable software in addition to the instant-play desktop version.
Regardless of how you access the site, however, you’ll be presented with a clean and easy to navigate layout, which features prominent “log in” and “sign up” icons in the top right-hand corner of the home page. There’s also log in icon on the left-hand side of the casino home page, which sits above a vertical menu that offers one-click access to slots and the coveted live casino.
There’s also a sticky menu at the top of the casino home page which features a search function, and this enables you to search for specific games and pages in double-quick time. When you scroll down, you’ll also see individual game genres and titles listed horizontally, while the sites’ real-time jackpots and recent winnings are also featured prominently towards the bottom of the homepage.
The site typically loads within two seconds or less on desktop and mobile browsers, which is an important consideration for customers in the digital age. They say that 47% of all modern-day consumers expect landing pages to load within two seconds, and 888.com is exceeding this expectation at present.
Instant Play at 888Casino
The site’s instant play feature is widely accessible to players, so long as their device features the Microsoft Windows Operating Systems Version 95 (or above) and has enabled the Flash Player plug-in 10.
Unlike some casinos, however, 888 also allows players to download the necessary software for free on a Microsoft Windows platform. Both of these options present almost identical layouts and loading times, while they also offer players an opportunity to customise the game lobby in a way that prioritises their preferred titles.
However, it’s arguable that the games run a little better on the downloadable software, while this range also includes 30 more titles than the instant play version. Still, the differences here are marginal, while all of 888’s most popular and rewarding games are available across both channels.
If you do prefer to access the casino through instant play, your device will ideally feature at least 1GB of RAM and an SVGA graphics card with a minimum resolution of 800 x 600. Without these features, the games may run a little slower and you could experience a little buffering.
What Type of Return is Available to Players?
We’ve spoken briefly about 888’s variable betting ranges and payouts, and there’s no doubt that the operator offers above average value to players. In fact, the site boasts an average RTP (return-to-player) rate of 96.60%, which means that members can expect to recoup nearly £0.97 for every pound that they wager over time.
Like with most casinos, it’s 888’s blackjack iterations that offer the best RTP rates, which are currently estimated at between 99.4% and 99.6% according to the most recent objective audits by eCOGRA. Video poker also delivers an average RTP rate of between 96.4% and 99.3%, while roulette offers a slightly more variable range of between 94.7% and 97.3%.
When it comes to slot games, the RTP rates reflect the diverse nature of the titles on offer. Video slots offer an RTP rate of between 91.9% and 97.15% overall, for example, thanks to the huge range of high and low variance games included in the 888 library.
Classic slots offer a slightly more restricted RTP rate of between 93.3% and 96.3%, but this genre still provides value for both high-rollers and casual players alike. This is central to 888’s enduring popularity and huge member base, which includes many different types of player from all over the world.
Customer Support with 888.com
If there’s one area in which 888.com is a little behind its rivals, it’s the delivery of customer service and support. This is not to say that the brand is particularly lacking in this respect, but more that it does not offer the same exalted quality of service as some of its competitors.
There’s no phone number through which contact the 888 team, for example, and this may be off-putting for traditionalists or older players who are not particularly comfortable with modern technology. Still, this is not necessarily a deal-breaker, particularly as the operator provides a comprehensive FAQ page, an email address and a live chat function.
You can contact the customer service team in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org, although you should not that response times can vary considerably during busy periods. While 888 will usually confirm receipt of the email and provide a generic response within the hour, it can take between three and four days to receive a comprehensive answer to your query.
As for the live chat function, this connects you with a customer service representative far quicker and it accessible 24 hours a day. However, the live chat icon is not as readily accessible as it is on some sites, while submitting a request through this channel does not necessary guarantee an instant response.
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Is the Site Secure and Well-designed?
Building a popular online casino is a challenging pastime, as operators must strike the delicate balance between security and a creating a visually engaging design when developing their website.
Fortunately, 888.com has leveraged its immense experience to strike this balance, creating an undeniably legitimate gambling platform that also benefits from iconic branding.
Is 888.com Safe?
To begin with, 888.com’s online casino boasts industry-standard 128-bit SSL encryption, which has been provided by McAfee Secure. This safeguards your most sensitive data, while also helping to secure the deposits and withdrawals that you make from the website.
The site’s games’ library has also been fully audited and accredited by eCOGRA, which is the UK’s leading independent and internationally approved testing agency. It specialises in the certification of online gambling software and platforms, ensuring that games are fair, transparent and underpinned by Random Number Generators.
This is a huge boon for the operator, who has also taken considerable steps to safeguard its players through its 888 Responsible Gaming program. This includes adjustable deposit limits, activity limitations and self-exclusion, while the protection of minors is also guaranteed with this casino.
888.com also provides vulnerable players and problem gamblers with additional help, through its partnerships with Gamblers Anonymous and the Gambling Therapy Helpline. This operator has also been certified by GamCare, which is one of the world’s leading authorities on problem gambling and plays a pivotal role in the iGaming sector.
The Site’s Licensing
888.com is based and registered in Gibraltar, but as a globally active brand it retains licenses in four different jurisdiction. At present, it’s accredited by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, AAMS Italy, the Swedish Gambling Authority and the UK Gambling Commission.
888.com’s UKGC license number is 39028, and you can find details of its licensed activities and subsidiaries listed here.
How Does the Site Look?
The 888.com casino has one of the most distinct and striking designs on the market, and one that commands your attention from the moment that you click through to the website. All landing pages feature a stark, black backdrop, for example, while the home page includes eye-catching scrolling promotions and bonus offers above the fold.
The casino homepage is also defined by high resolution imagery above the fold, while players can also access cartoonish icons that instantly connect them with slots, live casino and table games.
The sites’ bold use of colour is also impressive, with the clean and classic black background contrasted sharply with neon green lettering and bright yellow shades. When combined, these colours contribute to a stylish and professional design ethos, which is capable of creating feelings of excitement and urgency among customers.
Ultimately, there’s few new online casinos that can match the simplistic but impactful web design of 888.com. The site’s prominent and iconic branding also gives it an edge over its competitors, while the slogan ‘This is 888 Gaming – The Best of Online Gaming Since 1997’ provides a compelling proposition to players.
The Bottom Line
Since its inception back in 1997, 888.com has served as a trail-blazing and marketing leading brand in the iGaming space.
It has not been left behind by the rapid pace of change either, as it has continued to update its casino and proprietary software to ensure that it exceeds the expectations of its 25 million-strong consumer base.
This is embodied by the operators innovative bonus points feature, which is arguably one of the best of its type on the market. Through this system, points are awarded for every single bet placed through the website, enabling players to level up and eventually qualify as a coveted VIP member.
This benefit, along with competitive RTP rates, variable betting limits and a proactive approach to safeguarding its players, makes 888.com one of the most attractive online casinos on the market. These advantages even compensate for a slightly underwhelming customer support feature and a large list of restricted countries (see above), which are definitely areas in which the site can look to improve going forward.
So, if you’re looking for an established casino brand that you can trust, you should look no further than 888.com.