Getminted Vs. Purple LoungeGetminted.com launched in 2003 and is owned by UK-based Cashcade Ltd, with games provided by Wagerworks, who’ve been in the business even longer—creating online casino offerings since the start of the decade. We put Getminted through its paces. How would it stand up to the rigours of GOM testing?
Hooray, no download required—straight into hours of happy action then. Or so we thought. As it turned out, we’re so used to having a glitzy, jingly lobby area when we play at online casinos that we actually kind of missed having it there. Just going back to a plain old webpage when you want to choose a new game somehow isn’t the same.
Getminted’s slots are quite slick in the way they handle, but they’re really no great shakes in the looks department—the slot equivalent of driving a Ford Mondeo, if you like; safe but unexciting. This is particularly true of the Elvis slot, although on the Da Vinci Diamonds game we did like the way the icons fell, as if dropped, rather than spinning around. That stood out as a nice touch. There were plenty of other dull ones though—Wolf Run being a particularly snore-inducing low point.
The main game we feel obliged to tell you about here is the Monopoly: Here & Now slot, mainly because we found it to be more profitable than most slots we’ve played this year. Of course, we may have just been getting lucky, but we seemed to keep on getting regular small-to-medium-sized wins that kept our interest levels up. This is a good game for those who’d rather win little and often rather than chase gigantic jackpots. The Bonus Board special feature—played out on a Monopoly board—is good too.
We also enjoyed the 3-Wheel Roulette, something we’ve not encountered before. Three wheels spin simultaneously, so the ball has three chances of landing on your number. There are some good hi-lo games too, such as Mel’s Hi-Lo Golf and King Arthur’s Hi-Lo. Beware of the Multiplier! game though—it has almost as much house edge as roulette without any of the excitement. It’s just a spinning arrow that either lands on orange (win) or grey (lose)—a very clinical and cold type of gambling strictly for the anti-fun brigade.
Getminted will offer you some fairly decent sign-up bonuses. Deposit £5-149 and get it matched 100 percent up to £50; deposit £150-499 and see it matched 50 percent up to £200; and open your account with £500 or more and see it matched 50 percent up to £500. Play £50 worth of bets on a Friday and you’ll receive a free £5 straight to your account; while the Saturday Sale means you get 20 percent of any losses back in cash. There’s an appealing VIP programme and a Refer A Friend scheme whereby for any friends you persuade to sign up, you’ll receive 10 percent of their total first month’s deposit. Get a friend to sign up to the VIP programme and you’ll get a £500 introduction fee and other annual bonuses.
Customer Service (3)
Help is available in the form of 24/7 email and telephone support, and there are various departments you can contact. This is all complemented by a Getting Started section, FAQs and game previews. If you’re unhappy with their support, you can contact the manager directly. There’s no support on Christmas Day though—but then don’t you have a turkey to roast?
Purple Lounge is powered by Microgaming, one of the giants of the online gaming world and a company with a strong reputation for quality—in short, an industry big hitter. Purple Lounge, on the other hand, has a distinctly intimate and bespoke feel about it. They’re never going to be one of the biggest companies in the industry, but that actually turns out to be a good thing—especially when there are VIP perks courtesy of sister company, Quintessentially, on offer.
Downloading the casino takes a few minutes and there’s already a decent selection of games ready to roll, so that’s the end of your waiting time if you just want to get started. Again, we’ve seen more plush lobbies, but its simple and straightforward. All games are colourful—with a liberal splash of purple thrown in—and there’s something for everyone. The usual Microgaming standard then.
How cool does the purple Craps table look? That’s a nice touch. Roulette was really slick too. Some of the fruit machines have a seriously ‘old school’ vibe to them—you practically feel like your standing on a beer-soaked carpet while men throw darts just inches from your face. At the other end of the glamour spectrum, there’s huge progressive slots, including the now legendary Mega Moolah (jackpot currently £5 million and counting), as well as flashy showbiz-themed slots like The Osbournes—featuring Ozzy and family, and including an excellent bonus feature where you accumulate bonuses via Osbourne famly pet, Mini the dog. Other novel slots included the bees-and-honey themed Pollen Nation and the Grease-inspired Vinyl Countdown. Ho Ho Ho is ideal for those still feeling festive. And we found the Scratch Card game oddly moreish too.
There’s a free first deposit bonus of up to £75, casino loyalty programme, weekly bonuses and a slots tournament every Thursday—to win this you must wager the most over a 24-hour period from midnight to midnight. So fairly modest on the face of it. However, it’s at VIP level where the really good stuff kicks in. VIPs receive an ‘Ace card’ that entitles them to enjoy some of the perks that Quintessentially—a concierge service—has to offer. So that might mean an airport pick-up when you fly to the Caribbean, which whisks you off to the hottest places in town, or a cunning queue jump for that exclusive club, or seats in a top-class restaurant.
Customer Service (4.5)
The option for live help popped up before we’d even finished downloading the casino—which was nice. ‘Rich B’ greeted us and asked if he could help. So, since we love to be thorough, we bombarded him with questions ranging from the banal to the complicated. All were met with patience and helpfulness. He’d list information to a point, but if there was a page on the website that said it better, he’d just give a brief summary and then provide a link to more information.
Not a lot in it this month, but in each category Purple Lounge either edged it or scored roughly the same as Getminted. So while there was no decisive ‘knock out’ blow, the judges unanimously gave the bout to Purple Lounge on points. In terms of software, it has the edge with plenty of Microgaming ‘oomph’ under the bonnet. And in terms of gameplay, it proved just a little more endearing and engrossing. Those who don’t like cluttering their PC with downloads might be happier with Getminted, and it’s certainly a pretty decent casino, but Purple Lounge emerges victorious this month.