Bitstarz Casino Review
BitStarz Casino is an online casino established in 2014 that runs on a multi-software platform offering games from a variety of suppliers. It is operated by Direx N.V. and is registered under the jurisdiction of Curaçao. Last updated: February 2, 2018.
Review of BitStarz Casino
Bitcoin casinos have surged in popularity in recent times, as the digital currency has gained widespread awareness and a commensurate increase in value. The quality of these casinos vary widely though, and several I have come across are outright fraudulent. I am pleased to say that Bitstarz bucks this trend though, as it has a wide array of legitimate games, and while it isn't perfect, it is certainly one of the better Bitcoin casinos I've come across.
Software and game selection
BitStarz Casino has a completely web-based platform developed by a company known as SoftSwiss. You can access the casino through your browser on either your desktop PC, smartphone, or tablet. The look of the site is sharp, and it's pretty easy to navigate, as a menu bar directs you to the specific type of game you want to play, or you can search for a title by name or software provider.
Speaking of games, there are a ton here for you to sample. Thanks to agreements with developers including Net Entertainment, NextGen Gaming, Evolution Gaming, iSoftBet, Endorphina, Thunderkick and more, there are hundreds of games for you to play. The vast majority of these are video slots, but a healthy selection of table games and video poker machines are also available.
The options at Bitstarz for players that prefer their games dealt by humans are plentiful. There are several live dealer versions of each of Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, Casino Hold'em, Sic Bo, Dragon Tiger, and Keno. The games are broadcast from studios, feature varying table limits, and are supplied from well known providers Evolution Gaming and Ezugi.
Progressive jackpot prizes can also be had at this casino, which is nice to see as many Bitcoin sites often lack the big name pooled progressive jackpots that traditional online casinos have offered for many years. The most well known of these will be Net Entertainment's Mega Fortune which is present here. Thankfully the casino's payment policy specifies that progressive jackpot wins are not subject to the regular monthly withdrawal limits.
Banking and customer support
BitStarz allows you to maintain two separate account balances while you play at the casino: Bitcoin and your preferred local currency, of which there were seven to choose from when I signed up. The reason for this is that some of their game suppliers, such as Net Entertainment, do not allow their games to be played with Bitcoin. In those cases you will have to deposit fiat currency separately and you cannot convert between Bitcoin and Euros for example within the site itself. Bitcoin is the best option overall though, as it provides instant payouts, while eWallets and other traditional banking methods can take between 1-3 days.
While testing the casino I submitted a Bitcoin withdrawal that was paid to me within a few hours after I had made my request and gone to bed. You should note that there is a withdrawal limit of 10 BTC / €7,500 weekly and 20 BTC / €15,000 monthly. While not the lowest I have seen of the SoftSwiss casinos, it certainly isn't a high limit. As mentioned above, at least networked progressive jackpot wins are excluded from this limitation.
Customer support can be reached via live chat, email, and a handy call back service where you give them your phone number and they call you. I chatted to a rep to ask about some bonus terms, and found that the staff responded to my request within 15 seconds, which is great. The person I spoke to was friendly and answered my question quickly without trying to up sell me on a deposit bonus or anything else, which I appreciated.
Security, fairness, and responsible gaming
When it comes to security, BitStarz uses the industry-standard SSL encryption that most reputable sites use. This is good, as it encrypts and secures information as it is moves between your computer and the casino's servers. The encryption is active at all times during the login, registration, banking, and gameplay processes.
Some of the games on offer, specifically those developed by SoftSwiss, have what is called a "provably fair" mechanism built in. This uses cryptography to prove to you that the results of a game were determined fairly once you began playing and were not changed in response to your actions. In essence you are given an encrypted set of results when your game starts, such as a set of slot reel positions, sequence of roulette numbers, or order of the shuffled cards in a deck. After it is finished you are given the key to decode the encrypted results and you can verify that nothing was changed mid game.
One great feature that we at Casino Listings have been calling for casinos to implement for several years now is what Bitstarz calls "max bet protection" on their bonuses. This means that any bet limits that apply to you while playing a bonus are enforced by the games in the casino rather than just being a line hidden in the T&Cs. This means that there is no chance of you accidentally betting more than you are allowed to and invalidating a win.
If there is a disappointment to be had in terms of fairness, it is that BitStarz has both BetSoft and Pragmatic Play games in their library. Last year we conducted an extensive analysis of Betsoft's progressive jackpot games that suggested that they do not pay out fairly. Pragmatic Play, under its former guise of TopGame, has been involved in numerous questionable incidents including games missing crucial wild symbols making it impossible to win their top prizes. As usual we warn punters to avoid playing all of these developers' games.
Unfortunately BitStarz doesn't have a gaming license from a reputable regulated jurisdiction. What it does have is a license to operate from Curacao, which is more in the business of issuing licenses for fees as opposed to actually bothering to regulate the operators it licenses. Curacao offers no official dispute resolution process so, as with all casinos licensed in the jurisdiction, you will have to rely on third party intermediaries such as ourselves should you ever have a dispute that you cannot resolve yourself. The casino does not publish a list of the RTP numbers for its games, nor does it publish any audited payout figures.
I noticed this highly unusual term in the bonuses sections of the T&Cs: We reserve the right to not pay players using disposable email addresses. No explanation is given as to what exactly constitutes a "disposable" email address, so I contacted the support crew to ask them and they explained that it is meant to cover temporary email addresses that expire inside a couple of hours. Apparently these are commonly used by players wishing to play anonymously via Bitcoin, so if that is you, take the hint.
Similar to other SoftSwiss platform casinos, there is a comprehensive set of responsible gambling controls inside your account settings page. You are able to limit your activity at the casino based on time, wagering, or deposits, and even request a self exclusion should you feel it necessary. These things can also be accomplished by contacting the support crew via email, live chat, or callback.
While BitStarz isn't a perfect online casino, it does a lot of things right and I think it belongs in the upper-tier of Bitcoin casinos. There is a huge game library, fast payouts, and helpful and competent customer service, all of which make this a good place to play despite the drawbacks noted.