Casino ShowdownVictor Chandler Casino vs. Betfred Casino
Victor Chandler Casino, licensed and regulated in Gibraltar, is a household UK-betting company that’s been on the scene for over 60 years. From its humble beginnings building dog tracks to high-street betting shops, to pushing the boundaries online, Victor Chandler has always been at the forefront of the gambling industry. Being one of the first gaming companies to set up in Gibraltar in 1999, it shows the vision of the company to establish a greater presence and to compete with the top names. But this is the Showdown and anything can happen here.
For whatever reason, people seem to have mixed feelings about Boss Media. But games on VC Casino were impressively slick, instantaneous and welcoming, with realistic, uncluttered sound effects. Flash games are streamed in real time to your web browser and a player’s entertainment is only matched by the peace of mind VC offers with its cutting-edge encrypted security measures to ensure safe online gaming.
What it might lack in quantity, VC makes up for in quality and a very intuitive, hassle-free lobby. We took a few games of varying styles for their respective spins (or hands) and found that it was original and more engaging compared with many of the other big brands out there using world-class software. The blackjack and a variety of slots were particularly noteworthy. Victor Chandler has been in the gambling industry for over 50 years and has earned a solid and trusted reputation. And nearly 10 of those years have been online. So they know a thing or two about what people are looking for, whether you’re a complete beginner or a casino mainstay.
After decades in the business, VC certainly knows how to take care of its players. First of all, there’s a 100-percent instant deposit match welcome bonus for all new customers. Not a bad place to start. Once you get the lay of the online land, you can test your skills against the man himself. You can beat Victor, seeing as he’s in the casino every Thursday and Sunday. So if you hit the jackpot, he’ll credit you with an extra 10 percent of free cash on your winnings. FYI: Victor’s favourite video slot is Devil’s Delight. And it doesn’t stop there. Victor personally drops cash into multiple accounts on a daily basis varying from £5 to £500. So be pleasantly surprised if you see you balance randomly bulk up. Free spins, player points for big prizes, and the Victor Chandler VIP Lounge (box seats to Ascot, anyone?) all add up to an incentive package for punters that’s hard to beat.
Customer support (3.5)
Although it’s very UK-focused, the VC customer service team is very thorough and attentive. Of course, being a cutting-edge company, you’d expect the latest technology—especially with customer service. Live chat is always the way to go, but that was missing here. Just the usual email and telephone were available.
Again, another UK giant when it comes to longevity in the gaming business, although with a slightly more down-to-earth personality. Although you’d be excused for citing Ladbrokes or William Hill for being the most prevalent in the UK, it’s actually Betfred that is the world’s largest independent bookmakers and the UK’s biggest independent high-street retailer. With a huge online presence as well, we put Betfred in the Showdown hot seat to see if he’s not just resting on his laurels.
PlayTech has always been a reliable software outfit and it doesn’t disappoint here. It’s a different animal to VC Casino in that there’s no loungy frills that make you think there’s a dress code just to play. The sound effects are somewhat flat and impersonal, though. But we can identify with the old-school, slightly washed-out grit of the games, always in the blue and red of the Betfred logo. This is the real deal, so to speak. A nice touch on the blackjack, for example, is that when we held 18 and accidentally hit, we were prompted whether or not that was the decision we wanted. So someone in there is looking out for number one—the customer.
Betfred Casino has all the games you’d expect in a top-notch casino and a few surprises as well. Of course all the video poker, roulette, blackjack, craps and baccarat are there too and they all run with fluid precision. Tables are designed cleanly with sharp graphics as well. The craps table, especially, is a highlight and dedicated roulette players have four different hi-res table options to choose from. Are we leaving something out? Oh yeah—slots! So many slots. There are over 50 different syndicated slots, so you can play the ones you’re accustomed to. The Chinese Kitchen slot was, ironically, a breath of fresh air. Betfred also has arcade and skill games, depending on your mood.
They don’t call him the Bonus King for nothing. You get a 100-percent initial sign-up bonus up to £100, and their VIP program has a great five-tier structure where the goods just get better as you climb the ranks. Once you hit the Diamond level, you’ll be able to get your hands on over £20,000 a year in bonuses and 100-percent weekly reloads. Pretty tasty.
Customer Service (4.5)
The uncomplicated theme of the Betfred Casino website is very self explanatory and it took some effort to come up with things to badger their customer services with. That said, they’re still available 24/7 if you need it, either by telephone, snail mail, email or—hallelujah!—live chat.
This Showdown was all about giving the people what they want. And given the slick offering from Victor Chandler, we thought this one was in the bag. But it just goes to prove that looks aren’t everything. What people can identify with was the trump card in this one as Betfred squeaked by with their honest, no-frills approach to an essentially off-Strip online casino. You can almost smell it through the laptop. But the banter, charisma and good times that come from such an establishment shine through here.