GR88 Casino Review
GR88 Casino is an online casino established in 2009 with games supplied by Microgaming and Play'n Go. It is operated by Olympian Trading Ltd and is registered under the jurisdiction of Curaçao. Last updated: November 10, 2015.
Review of GR88 Casino
GR88 Casino is an oddly named casino that was presumably chosen because the 3-letter domain with only one 8 in it was already taken. Their live chat folks told me that it is supposed to be simply pronounced "Great" rather than "Great-8" or spelled out "G-R-88". Anyway, this is one of many browser-based casinos running on Microgaming's Quickfire platform. It is licensed out of Curacao, and offers both casino games and a sportsbetting site. I deposited my money and took GR88 for a spin to see how it stacks up against its many similar competitors.
Software and games at GR88
As mentioned above, GR88 Casino runs off the hugely popular Microgaming Quickfire platform. This in-browser software grants you games from Microgaming itself, including popular slots like Terminator 2, Immortal Romance, The Dark Knight, and the massive progressive Mega Moolah. Microgaming also has deals with third party suppliers that allow you to play their games as well, games such as 300 Shields from NextGen or MegaDeth from Leander Games. In addition the casino has games from the studios of Play'n Go, which was a nice surprise.
Having said that, one of the first things that you will notice is that the number of games available is not as big as you find at many similar casinos. GR88 appears to have hand picked games and the full Quickfire catalogue is not available here. There are 48 video slots in total, 20 table games, 8 video poker games plus an assortment of other classic slots and parlour games. Whether or not this will bother you I guess is all down to whether they carry your favourite games or not.
The table games at GR88 are supplied by both Microgaming and Play'n Go. There are versions of Craps, Blackjack, Baccarat, Casino Hold'em, Caribbean Stud, Roulette, Pai Gow Poker, and a mystery game called "Beat Me" which I found out was Play'n Go's name for Casino War. Video Poker players likewise have a choice of 5 or 6 variations.
Support and banking options
Customer support at GR88 is provided 24/7 via either email or live chat. The live chat operators are not available at all hours of the day, but from what I saw they tended to be available during European daytime and evening hours. When available, I never waited more than a minute for an operator to respond, and I was impressed by the level of service provided, even as they sat there answering my inane questions about why the site was named like it was and how to pronounce GR88.
Transacting with GR88 is relatively painless because of the vast number of deposit methods accepted by the casino. In addition to your usual credit and debit cards, and common e-wallets, the site also supports numerous local direct bank transfer methods such as iDeal, POLi, Boleto, Sofort, and LobaNet, that will be convenient for people in many different countries. Withdrawal options are also plentiful and my test withdrawal to a Skrill account was received in under 48 hours which is not too bad.
Withdrawals are where I ran into my main beef with a casino that I was, up until now, quite impressed with. Apart from the small €2500 per week withdrawal limit, in the fine print of the T&Cs you will also find a stinker lurking that is going to hurt big winners or those of you that like to deposit, play, and withdraw over the weekend for example. Only the first withdrawal each month at GR88 is free of fees. After that, your 2nd withdrawal will cost you a 5% fee, and your third will cost you €100. Consider the scenario where you win €10,000 and now must withdraw €2500 per week over a month - that privilege will cost you a princely €325 in withdrawal fees. It also means that if 5% of your withdrawal is greater than €100 (i.e. you are withdrawing more than €2000) and you can't wait until next month, you would be better off submitting a minimum withdrawal as your second for the month, then making the big withdrawal your third for the month. These fees go far beyond the cost of handling the withdrawals and look to me to be nothing more than an attempt to discourage people from withdrawing regularly. It is an unusual cost to bear for those customers that casinos usually love the most: the frequently playing regulars.
Security and fairness
As you would expect of any competent internet casino, all of your gameplay, transactions, and communication with the GR88 Casino servers are encrypted using standard 128 bit SSL encryption. However the most pleasing thing in terms of security was the site's guarantee that customer funds are ring-fenced from the operational funds of the casino. This is supposed to ensure that should the casino ever be mis-managed or go out of business, customer funds remain untouched and available for withdrawal. This is an excellent practice that all online casinos should adhere to, but sadly few do.
In terms of game fairness and transparency, all games supplied by Microgaming are independently tested and certified by iTech Labs to provide random results and payout rates that match the theoretical RTP numbers for the games. Speaking of which, GR88 has a helpful "Game RTPs" page that lists the RTP numbers for the vast majority of its games.
Good games, solid support, the option of also betting on sports, and a guarantee that player funds are segregated from operational funds are all highlights for GR88 Casino. However the issues with the fees charged by the withdrawal department and the low weekly withdrawal limits that may force you to withdraw multiple times in a month are major and detract from what is an otherwise good casino.