Online Casinos, Gambling, Poker and Sports Betting Magazine

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Casino Showdown

Gnuf casino

It’s a name that conjures images of some nocturnal, bug-eating marsupial, but ‘Gnuf’ is actually a big player in online gaming. You might know them primarily as a poker site, but here we trap the wily GnufCasino.com and put it through its paces. Let’s see if it came out unharmed.

Software: 3.5

The Gnuf site is fairly intuitive and user-friendly—what you’d expect from a Microgaming-fuelled online casino. The initial download was excruciating, however. And just a personal thing—when it finally did, it took over the whole screen, which is a bit presumptuous and overbearing. A couple of points docked there. The home page is also something not to behold. It looks like I was about to embark on a quest for the ultimate in double glazing—yawn.

What was also presumptuous was that when Gnuf Casino was downloaded, they took it upon themselves to take up valuable desktop space by also downloading the Gnuf Poker. Doing the hard sell, are we Gnuf? At this point early in the game, I had almost enuf of Gnuf. But once it was all up and running, its sleek, simple, clean gameplay, devoid of a lot of flashy, unnecessary distraction, was reassuring. The gentle background hum of a busy environment did contribute to a genuine gaming experience—but the loop was too short and started to unravel my sanity. Luckily, ambiance and game speed are customisable, so that was a relief. Speed of games was also good, without any hiccups or stalling.

Games: 3

Gnuf Casino has a decent range of gaming options. ‘Vast’ doesn’t come to mind, but enough to keep you busy. Roulette, craps, a multitude of blackjack games, slots, progressive jackpots and video poker—it’s all there in one form or another. And there were lots of features to make your play more enjoyable. But all those options tend to keep you away from the actual gaming; you’d want them to just get it right in the first place. There is, however, the My Gnuf area, which is a useful dashboard to manage all casino activity. There’s also a favourites area so you can streamline your own gaming experience.

Table limits are generally between $1 and $200 (or in a multitude of other currencies). There are some high-roller tables that will allow you to make bets into the thousands, if you’re so inclined.

Incentives: 3

Not much really to elaborate on here. Gnuf is a big player in the industry, but not big enough to throw out some juicy carrots to stay ahead of the competition. That said, they dangle a sign-up bonus of 100 percent up to $50. Nothing to make your jaw hit the floor, but there’s also the Gnuf Casino Loyalty Club, where you can earn Gnuf points for all your real money play.

Customer service: 3.5

Casino support at Gnuf is knowledgeable, efficient and friendly and can take care of your queries and concerns in as many languages as acceptable currencies. But there’s no live chat, which is an online casino no-no these days. Of course, you can contact the team any time by email or telephone (toll-free from 10 countries) and generally you’ll hear back within the hour.

As you’d expect, withdrawals are taken care of expeditiously, so Gnuf comes through with the goods there. Generally, all withdrawals are processed within two business days, which can’t really be criticised.

Circus Casino

I have a paralysing fear of clowns. And juggling elephants, sphere-based motorbike choreography and guys getting blasted out of canons simply just don’t do it for me. Luckily, CircusCasino.com has none of those things. But will it stand up to the high-wire act that is the GOM Showdown?

Software: 4.5

CircusCasino.com is part of the Genting Group, which owns the UK’s largest land-based casino group, Genting Stanley, with over 40 casinos nationwide. So with a footprint like that, you can safely assume things will be top-notch—especially when it’s all powered by the household name that is Playtech, and its buttery smoothness is evident right when you hit the lobby. Not the most awe-inspiring lobby, it must be said, but it’s at least consistent with the fun, care-free atmosphere Circus conveys. No over-stuffed leather sofas and parades of impossibly beautiful women here. Just fun thrills under garish bright lights.

Games: 4.5

A big plus at Circus is the fact that you have the option of playing live. Choose blackjack, roulette, baccarat and Sic Bo as close to the actual casino gaming experience without actually being there. Apart from that, the reliable Playtech software enables you to play the virtual variety as well. Tons of progressive slots and arcade games will also keep you thoroughly entertained and you can play for free before making that crucial step to play with hard-earned cash.

Circuscasino.com has a comprehensive selection of non-live games as well including roulette, blackjack, all card and table games, slots, video poker and progressive slots.

Incentives: 4

CircusCasino.com offers players a 100-percent welcome deposit match bonus up to £150 plus a further 100 percent monthly deposit match bonus up to £75. Plus, there’s a point-based casino VIP program where you can earn points as you play. You start earning as soon as you join and start playing for real money. And it doesn’t matter if you win or lose as you still accumulate points at the same rate. Each game qualifies you for a different number of points and you can convert Comp Points into real money play. For example, wager a total of £1,000 on a progressive jackpot slot and earn 100 Comp Points.

Customer Service 3.5

No live chat here either but they had unparalleled support by UK free phone, free fax and e-mail. Our queries were handled with speed, thoroughness and friendliness. Still want the live chat, though.

Verdict

Gnuf, despite its furry, feral connotations, had a lot going for it in its casino offering with great marks all across the board. It’s lobby was a bit of a turnoff, though, and when first impressions mean as much in this highly competitive industry, it was a critical blemish that left me thinking if there was a better deal somewhere else. But we persevered and it delivered. CircusCasino.com, on the other hand, came through from start to finish, without pretention or attitude. The incentives also tipped the balance. So this month, the king of the big top is CircusCasino.com. If there were clowns and balloon sculptures, however, it would have been a completely different story.
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