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One of the oldest in the game, 888 is an award-winning online casino that first set up shop in 1997. Founded by Israeli brothers Aaron and Avi Shaked, the company was originally based in Antigua but now operates out of Gibraltar. In 2013, 888 became the first online casino to legally operate in regulated sections of the U.S. market. It is owned by Cassava Enterprises, who are in turn owned by 888 Holdings. Both are also based out of the British-owned Spanish island of Gibraltar.
License and Legal Status
Cassava Enterprises is licensed under the Gibraltar Remote Gaming Licence scheme. The casino operates in the United Kingdom under the 888 UK brand, who are licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. This duo of licenses allows 888 to operate their online casino across the European market, and farther afield.
In the United States, 888 is licensed to operate in Nevada and New Jersey. In NJ, they work with local casino sponsor Caesar’s NJ to provide online gambling services. However, this is limited to people who are physically present in the state only.
888 Casino Games Review
The casino has around 250 games, covering:
- 205 slots titles
- 4 casino blackjack games
- 10 roulette wheels
- 9 video poker titles
- Various other games, including Deal or No Deal, 10s or better, and Keno
Their collection is mostly developed by Random Logic, International Game Technology (IGT), and NetEnt. They also have a lot of games by Dragonfish and 888 Gaming, both of which are in-house studios. Exclusive titles are created by 888 Gaming for 888 Casino, whereas Dragonfish also sells games to other casinos– but they are both ultimately owned by 888 Holdings.
Random Logic and Dragonfish are both certified by eCOGRA, who are the premiere auditors for online casino software in Europe. This means you can look up any of 888’s slots online and be certain the return-to-player (RTP) is 100% correct and verified. This was great to see; however, we were a little disappointed with the collection of table games and video poker titles here. We expected to see more variety from an internationally known brand such as 888.
All the RTPs of 888’s games are published in their info sections, although you must sometimes scroll through a wall of text to see them. The highest RTP of any game in their collection was single-deck, high-limit blackjack by 888 Gaming. This had an expected return of 99.48%.
The live dealer selection at 888 Casino is provided by industry heavyweight Evolution Gaming. It consists of 97 tables across the following games:
It also features Evolution’s spinning Wheel-of-Fortune-type game Dream Catcher, along with a high/low type card game called 888 Casino Clash and a few more niche casino classics, such as Punto Banco or Dragon Tiger. Lastly, 888 has jumped on Evolution’s private table technology with some gusto. They currently host 19 private 888 tables, complete with 888 branding in all areas and exclusive offers. Most of these are blackjack tables, but they also have a couple for roulette and poker.
The casino offers two different welcome promotions for players: their standard offer and a premium package.
The standard offer is a 100% deposit match up to €100, so deposit €100 and you’ll receive €100 in bonus money on top. This bonus money has a 30x wagering requirement and a 90-day time period in which it must be claimed. Be warned though, any attempt to withdraw your deposited cash before completing the playthrough conditions will void all bonus money.
The premium package offer consists of five deposit match offers over a seven-day period. The first deposit gets you a €100 match up to €100. Your next five deposits made that week will give you a 30% match up to €350. If you max out each bonus, this could give you €1500 in bonus cash.
However, you must wager the previous bonus offers’ deposit at least three times before you can unlock the next bonus. The minimum to trigger it is €20. Any bonus money has the same 30x wagering requirement and 90-day expiration period as the standard bonus. All five bonuses are only available for seven days after making your first deposit.
888 Game Contribution Table for Bonuses
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Their VIP program is a comp-point based system. Every €10 you wager, will get you 1.35 comp points. Every 135 points can be exchanged for €1, although only multiples of 10 will be exchanged. For example, if you had 280 points, you would get €2 and then have 10 comp points left over that stay in your account.
Comp points expire after 90 days, and you may make a maximum of 5 million of them in a month. Funds made back from comp points are withdrawable cash and not bonus money.
Spending €1000 will get you €1 cash when exchanging comp points at 888, which makes for a 0.001% cashback rate.
They also offer a triple-tier VIP system, which offers perks such as faster withdrawal processing, a better conversion rate for your comp points, and exclusive VIP events. However, member admittance to this system is decided on an ad-hoc basis, so we can’t specify to you exactly how you qualify. Instead, you must talk to 888 customer service if you feel you may be a valued enough customer to attain VIP status.
888 Sportbook Review
Markets and Odds
A separate entity from 888 Casino is 888Sport, which requires you to make a separate account. No funds can be transferred or shared between your casino and sportsbook accounts. Unusually for the online casino industry, 888’s online bookmaker opened in 2008– which was 11 years after the online casino.
On offer are 37 sports, each with a huge range of individual markets within them. Soccer alone has over 50,000 possible bets listed. As well as the main popular worldwide sports, you can bet on more niche games such as surfing, trotting, chess, or even WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). Also available are political bets, and TV or novelty bets. Markets here are quite in-depth and include elections from around the world, plus smaller local contests in the UK.
Odds can be displayed in fractional, decimal, or American style at the click of a button. They also offer an odds guarantee on British or Irish horse racing. If you place a winning wager wherein the odds changed in your favor after placing the bet, 888 promises to credit your account with the difference.
For example, if you placed a 5-1 bet, and 10 minutes later the odds lengthened to 10-1 but your horse still wins, you would get your payout at 10-1. This is not quite what we expected when a betting site says ‘best odds guaranteed,’ but it is still a good offer nonetheless.
As a new customer of 888Sport, you will receive €30 worth of free bets, after placing one qualifying bet (of at least €10) during the first 30 days of opening your account. Three €10 free bet tokens will be credited to your account within 72 hours of settling your qualifying wager. One of the three €10 tokens is only usable on mobile. All free bet tokens must be used in their entirety and cannot be used to make several smaller bets. All three free-bet tokens expire seven days after crediting.
There is no loyalty or VIP system currently offered at 888Sport.
888 Poker Review
Since 888Poker is on its own proprietary network, you will exclusively be playing with 888 players. This gives it more stability than some other online poker rooms, as you are not relying on a network of multiple sites for your continuing playerbase. There are also more customers than most, with peak time player numbers reaching 2000 or more. This puts it firmly in the top five or so poker networks for European poker fans, by pure player numbers.
If you’re looking at other factors, 888Poker’s software must make it one of the top contenders on the market. For starters, they have instant play– which is more common at poker rooms today, but still isn’t available everywhere. Their instant-play option is also top quality, allowing you to quickly and smoothly access everything that you can on the downloadable client.
The 888Poker client is available for Mac and Windows users, as well as in a standalone app for Android or iOS. Their instant-play, in-browser mode is also usable in mobile browsers. Unlike some of their competitors, the mobile browser version of 888Poker is top quality as well. Everything is optimized nicely for smaller screen devices, and the games load perfectly without lagging or glitching, as long as you have a decent connection.
Lastly, 888Poker partners with the World Series of Poker. This means successful players here could potentially find their route into some of the most serious, big-money poker tournaments in the world.
The casino offers a varied selection of poker on top of the usual no-limit or limit Omaha and hold ‘em. The selection includes 7-card-stud, Omaha hi-lo, snap games, and sit-n-go tournaments. However, many of these more niche poker variants aren’t very popular and you may struggle to find a table to your liking– especially outside of peak times.
Tournaments are always important to any poker fan, and this area is 888Poker’s biggest weakness. Despite strong player numbers and excellent software with unique features, 888’s tournament schedule does not push them ahead of their competition. Expect about 20 tournaments an hour during peak times. Lower buy-in tournaments can attract hundreds of players, although the big money weekly €100,000 tournaments may also attract this much competition.
The casino does not allow rebuys on the majority of tournaments, which is good for sharks and professional players. Rebuys allow players who have crashed out to try again, sometimes more than once, and this can have a big effect on tournaments involving mostly seasoned players. In general, 888Poker plays quite loosely, especially on the lower buy-in tables.
Their reward scheme and VIP program is a point-based system. There are five challenges that award different points. The most basic of these is called ‘hit the tables,’ which gives 100 points for every €1 raked or paid in tournament fees. Other challenges include ‘be active’ which requires you to play for a certain number of days, or ‘friends with benefits,’ which asks you to recommend new 888Poker players. Some other challenges ask you to visit the 888Casino or sportsbook and bet small amounts there to receive points in return.
Challenges change on a daily basis, as well as when you accumulate enough points to move up a level. The level structure is infinite, and you can never be denoted. To see the points required for each level up to 1,500– click here. On average though, each level requires anywhere between 100 to 500 more points than the last.
Each time you level up, you’ll receive a gold token which can be exchanged for cash bonuses, 888Poker merchandise, jewelry, and other prizes. Cash bonuses only go as high as €10 and come with a requirement to collect 3.5x the bonus amount in points before they can be withdrawn.
The 888 software is designed with plain black backgrounds and minimal stylings. We found certain menus in the sportsbook and casino sections did not work as smoothly as they could, and we encountered a few graphical bugs and glitches during the process of our review. Some less visited sections of the site, such as the poker room reward store or some frequently asked questions (FAQ) sections also looked rather dated and lacked the polish of the main sites.
On the positive side, 888 has dedicated apps for the casino, sportsbook, and poker rooms available on both Android and iOS devices. They all worked well in our experience, and ran better than some parts of the desktop site. The 888Poker room also deserves a mention here, as their in-browser, instant-play mode works extremely well. In fact, it is possibly the best in-browser poker room we have experienced.
888 Deposits and Withdrawals
There are 25 different deposit methods offered, which is an impressive collection by any online casino’s standards and one of the better aspects of the 888 experience. Just some of these include:
- Apple Pay
- Bank transfer
In particular, Apple Pay and PayPal are two quick, easy, and extremely popular payment methods that should be a draw for many customers.
Cash Out Speed
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When it comes to withdrawals, only roughly half of the available deposit methods are available for use. Withdrawals are also quite slow when compared to the top online gambling sites in the game. Debit card withdrawals here may take three to five days to process, and even e-wallets (which are instant at some sites) may take up to 48 hours to be processed. On the plus side, all methods are free– although this is to be expected at a major player such as 888.