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888 Review

Website: https://www.888.com
US Players: US Players Are NOT Accepted
Online Since: 1997
Bonus:
Welcome Bonus Up to £100
License: Gibraltar and the United Kingdom
Software: Random Logic, GamesOS, Electracade, Bwin.Party, WagerWorks, NextGen
Location: Europort, Gibraltar
Banking:
MasterCard, Visa, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, WebMoney and See Site for More Options
  • Longevity in the Industry is a Good Sign of Their Legitimacy.
  • The Site Gives Access to US Citizens.
  • Tons of Different Games All in One Place.
  • Software Comes From a Healthy Blend of Designers.
  • Difficulties Contacting Customer Support.
  • The Site Doesn’t Explicitly State Any Details About Its Payment Methods.
  • The Casino Games Section Overlooks a Few Casino Classics.

As Casino-On-Net, the site we now call 888.com was a pioneer
in the online betting industry. The site launched in 1997, when
many of the big names in the Web-based sportsbook and gambling
industries didn’t even exist.

Overview

888.com is based in Gibraltar, licensed by the UK and
Gibraltar gambling commissions, and uses a combination of
several software platforms to host sports betting, casino games,
poker, bingo, and a variety of other skill and luck-based
contests.

The complete list of software companies that designed 888’s
games is long – Random Logic, GamesOS, Electracade, Bwin.Party,
WagerWorks, NextGen, Blueprint Gaming, Endemol Games,
NetEntertainment and Amaya. I’m always encouraged by a library
built from multiple platforms, since it’s an early sign that the
user interface and variety of bets available will earn high
marks.

Now, here’s the good news and the bad news.

First, the Good Stuff – The Features of the Site That I Liked.

888.com’s Longevity in the Industry is a Good Sign of
Their Legitimacy.

But their reputation as an
above-board operator isn’t based just on the fact that they’ll
soon celebrate their 20th anniversary. I had a hard time finding
too many complaints about the site. Complaints at PokerScout
focus on the quality of competition more than anything.

The Site Gives Access to (A Very Small Number of) US
Citizens.

888.com is a curious case in terms of access
for US players. Thanks to changes in legislation in the US state
of New Jersey, 888.com was able to make a deal with the
government to allow New Jersey residents to get access to all of
their online and mobile games.

You Can Play a Ton of Different Games All in One
Place.

This is a matter of convenience, and some
gamblers won’t care one way or the other. I like blackjack, but
I also bet on sports, and having access to both with a couple of
clicks is convenient. To a certain segment of the population,
convenience is everything. If you’re one of those people, you’ll
appreciate having a bingo parlor, poker room, casino floor, and
sportsbook all at one site.

The Casino’s Software Comes From a Healthy Blend of
Designers.

I love that 888 uses NetEnt and a few
proprietary slot games, since they’re the best in the industry.
I’ve reviewed far too many Microgaming and Playtech and RTG
sites, and I’m always happy to find a site offering these slots.
They’re more fun, with more replay value, and better effects.
I’m also pretty happy with the casino selection. I cover this in
more detail in the game category reviews below.

And Now For the Bad News – A Few Features About 888.com That I Don’t Like.

The Feature I’m Most Concerned About is How Difficult
it Was For Me to Contact Customer Support.

I’ve never
had such a difficult time even finding contact information for a
major online casino operation before. The way it’s set up is
really odd – check out the full description in the Customer
Support section below. I consider this to be a really important
problem with the site, so I encourage you to read the details
below.

I Also Don’t Like That the Site Doesn’t Explicitly
State Any Details About Its Payment Methods.

I
complained about this above. I imagine the fees and transfer
times are similar to what I’m used to at other sites, but why
not advertise that fact?

Several Reviews I Read Cited the Fact That 888
Refuses to Work With Third-Party Mediation Services.

I
don’t have much to add here, except that if these accusations
are true, it’s not a good thing.

The Casino Games Section Includes Some Snazzy Titles,
But Overlooks a Few Casino Classics.

Again, I go into
more detail on this subject in the game reviews a bit lower on
the page.

Here is an overview of each gambling option available at
888.com at the time of my review.

Bonus Details

  • Poker Welcome Bonus – 100% match bonus worth up to $888
  • Casino Welcome Bonus – 100% match bonus worth up to $3,000
  • Mobile Bonus – Unlimited $2 “Instant Bonus” pay for mobile players

Please Note: On all of these above bonuses, T&C apply.

Banking Options

At the time of this review, 888.com allows deposits and
withdrawals from a total of forty-three payment methods. Some of
them are region-specific; others are available to customers all
over the world.

Rather than list every payment method available, I’ll point
you to the source for this information –

888.com’s “Accepted Payment Methods” page
. It’s valid as of
the time of my review, and includes a list of all forty-three
accepted payment methods.

The list is a decent representation of all the popular
methods, from credit and debit products to eWallets. A few
conventional funds transfer methods are available – bank drafts,
payments by check and courier, and wire service payments.

It would be nice if 888.com shared information about transfer
times, fees, and minimum and maximum deposit amounts, like
basically every other online casino I’ve reviewed, but that
information is not publicly available. I did manage to get some
of these details from a member of the customer support team, but
that seems like an unusual thing to be secretive about.

Casino

All casino games at the site are broken up into four
categories.

Sure, the site has nine roulette variants, five different
versions of blackjack, and thirty-three different NetEnt slots,
but I’m shocked that customers can’t choose to play games like
craps, casino poker, and keno.

Here’s a look at each category in the site’s casino tab.

Roulette

  • Roulette Pro is Euro-rules roulette on a fancy-looking animated table that allows for turbo play.
  • Low Stakes Roulette is American-rule roulette that allows wagers as low as $0.50.
  • American Roulette is the worst in terms of player odds, with two green “zero spaces.”
  • 3D Roulette uses European roulette rules and a cool 3D design.
  • French Roulette has a few bets not found in other versions and a unique Paris-inspired design.
  • French Roulette High Limit is a high limit version of the site’s French Roulette game.
  • American Roulette High Limit is a high limit version of the site’s American Roulette game.
  • European Roulette is the classic Euro game with just a single green “zero space.”

Blackjack

  • Classic Blackjack is the site’s classic game of 21.
  • Multi-hand Blackjack allows players to bet on up to five hands at a time.
  • American Blackjack uses slightly different rules regarding splitting and doubling.
  • Spanish 21 allows for a surrender option in which the player gives up half his wager.
  • High Limit Blackjack is classic blackjack with higher betting limits.

Slots

Thirty-three NetEnt and proprietary slot games are available
for play at 888casino.

NetEntertainment (along with BetSoft) is producing the best
slot games in the industry. What do I mean by best? They have
industry-leading graphics and sound (like the awesome effects on
888’s BetSoft-designed Nightmare on Elm Street title), high
replay value (thanks to plots, characters, voices, and bonus
games), and they engage me longer than any other slot I’ve
played on the Internet.

I just wish the overall library of slots was a bit larger,
since thirty-three games puts them at the low end compared to
their big competitors. In an industry where a library of 100+
slots is common, 888.com’s collection looks anemic at best.

Poker

If you were to say that poker is the most popular game at
888.com, I couldn’t refute it.

At the time of this review, 888poker had the second-highest
traffic of all sites in the online poker industry. They
consistently rank in second place, with average cash game
traffic of around 3,000 paying players.

Why is 888 so popular? Reviewers seem to love the software
and user interface, calling it “…a thorough and realistic 3D
experience,” and “…slick and fantastic.”

888poker gets something else poker-related right – their
tournament schedule. Most poker players know about the Sunday
$100K event, but the site has a huge list of other guarantees,
along with some niche tourneys in truly odd and esoteric game
variants. See the tournament schedule for more details.

Games Available For Regular Cash Game Play At My Last Visit
Were:

  • Texas Hold ‘Em
  • Omaha
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • 7 Card Stud

The variety increases when you consider tournaments and other
special events.

As for the competition, I have mixed feelings. I’ve heard the
argument about playing poker at online sportsbooks – people
assume that sports bettors will just mosey on over to the poker
tables and blow a bunch of money. But I concede that enough
people have heard that rumor over the years, that now 888 is
probably about on par with any other big poker room in terms of
player quality.

Sports Betting

888sport, the arm of the site that’s licensed in the United
Kingdom, has only been online since 2008. That’s not a very long
life, considering that the casino services provided by 888 have
been in business for nearly twenty years.

I’m impressed by the variety of available bets and (from
reviews I’ve read) the site offers somewhat high limits
respectable payout times. Unfortunately, it’s hard for me to
confirm those things, since 888’s typically
private-when-it’s-not-even-necessary policy has prevented them
from releasing too many specifics in those areas.

Available Markets:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Darts
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Handball
  • Horse Racing
  • Ice Hockey
  • Motor Sports
  • Rugby
  • Snooker
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

In most cases, both pro and amateur leagues of all markets
are available. For instance, soccer bettors can bet from the
highest English Championship league levels on down to minor
league US footie. On my visit, I saw literally thousands of
markets, including some truly obscure leagues.

Bingo

Currently, 888Bingo Hosts Four Variants of the Classic Game:

  • High 5 Bingo
  • 75 Ball Bingo
  • 90 Ball Bingo
  • 75 Ball
    Progressive

The current promotion for bingo players offers $40 free for a
$10 deposit. I had a difficult time finding terms and conditions
for this promotion – the best I can do is refer people to one of
the other T&C pages and hope for the best.

Customer Support

I was impressed by the variety of languages the site
advertises as being available for customer support.

But that’s not the whole story.

In the introduction, I made a big point of calling 888.com
out for their poor customer service options, the difficulty I
had finding contact forms and numbers, and some outright lies
they tell about their support services.

Let’s start with the lies.

Here’s the Full List of Languages That the Site Advertises on
its Landing Page:

  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Magyar
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

I thought it was cool that 888.com has customer service staff
standing by to answer your questions in languages like Romanian,
Swedish, and Magyar. Magyar in particular – it’s the official
language of Hungary, and is spoken by about 9 million people
worldwide. That’s tiny compared to languages like English (841
million speakers), Spanish (400 million speakers), and Chinese
(1.4 billion speakers), all of which the site also provides.
Answering questions in Magyar means the site is willing to cater
to small markets, and I like that.

But I think we’re being hoodwinked a little.

888.com makes a different claim about language support on
their “About Us” page, saying: “We offer assistance in 11
different languages by phone, email and live online chat.” At
the time of my visit, customer support was only available in
seven languages, far fewer than the sixteen they claim on their
landing page, and fewer than the eleven they claim on their
“About Us” page.

It was also difficult to find live chat and toll-free phone
numbers, though I finally accomplished it. I had to click
through an otherwise-useless FAQ that couldn’t possibly answer
anyone’s real questions.

I only found the live chat and toll-free phone number info
when I pretended to make a real-money deposit. As soon as it
appeared that I was going to send them some cash, links to
contact the site were all over the place.

888 says they operate live chat around the clock, and I don’t
have any reason to doubt that.

The phone number listed as 24-hour customer support during my
last visit was +1-268-484-4865.

Summary

I am going to remain neutral on 888.com. I wouldn’t sign up
for an account, even if I lived in a country where the site is
accessible, but I’m not going to tell anyone NOT to sign up for
an account. I’m unimpressed with the site’s overall casino game
library. You can easily find sites with better promos, a better
customer support system, and more overall transparency,
especially if you live in Europe or Asia.

Verdict

Read the pros and cons above and check the site out for yourself. If you like all-in-one sites, with casino games, poker tournaments, and a sportsbook under one roof, it might be up your alley.

888.com FAQ

Are People From ____ Able to Open Accounts at 888.com?

888.com says the only countries restricted from their services
are the US, Israel, and Turkey.

Is the Mobile Game Library the Same as the Traditional
Desktop Library?

No, the mobile casino games list is much
shorter than the traditional site, as is the variety at the
mobile sportsbook, and the game and stake variety for the site’s
mobile poker service.

What Currencies Does 888.com Support?

The site will convert
any world currency you deposit into dollars, British pounds, or
euros. The conversion rate is presented to you before you
accept, and is based on a rate set by 888.com’s own banking
service. Be sure to check the rate before you convert.

Do I Have to Be a New Jersey Resident to Play at 888.com
while I’m in New Jersey?

It turns out the answer is no. As long
as you’re in the state of New Jersey, you can access the site,
regardless of where you’re from. Geolocation will indicate to
the site’s servers that you are, in fact, in New Jersey – that’s
why players accessing the site within New Jersey borders have to
keep their Wi-Fi connection on.
Good
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