Grand Reef Casino Review
Grand Reef Casino is an online casino established in 2010 with games supplied by Playtech. It is operated by Rand Logic Gaming N.V. and is registered under the jurisdiction of Curaçao. Last updated: September 26, 2017.
Review of Grand Reef Casino
Billing itself as "Australia and New Zealand's #1 online casino" (until they blocked Australians from playing at the site in September 2017) Grand Reef Casino is a downloadable casino that boasts a full complement of Playtech games and access to the networked Playtech progressive jackpot pools. Unfortunately it has earned a poor reputation for extremely slow withdrawal payments that are often strung out for months in small instalments, as well as the unsavoury past conduct of its management.
Blacklisted due to owner's theft of jackpot winnings
The operating company of this casino (Rand Logic Gaming) acquired two blacklisted casinos, African Palace and Indio Casino, from its "former owners" in 2011. African Palace was blacklisted by us due to the case of South African grandmother Marie Van Wyk who won an 8.5 million Rand jackpot (over US $1 million at the time) on the progressive game Beach Life. After being shafted by the casino owners she only ended up receiving around a quarter of her winnings. Even intervention by South African television news program Carte Blanche could not get Ms Van Wyk her money. As you can read in our review of African Palace, we are now convinced that the "new owners" are merely the same ones using a different company name. Until such time as Ms Van Wyk is paid what she is owed, this casino will remain blacklisted.
Update, September 2017: Grand Reef has closed its virtual doors to Australian players due to amendments made to the Interactive Gambling Act. Consistent with our low opinion of this operator, it appears that these cyber-thieves have decided that they don't need to pay out the balances of Australian players' accounts. The website is blocked from Australian IP addresses, and all communication from players enquiring about their money is being ignored.
Grand Reef, saying no to Aussie kitsch
Before you read any further bear in mind that I am an Aussie myself and the usual reaction I have when I see an Australian themed online casino is to laugh at how inappropriately the obviously non-Australian website editor has splashed the words "pokies", "down under", "g'day" and "mate" all over the website, not to mention stock photos of kangaroos and koalas. Its like they think we're all kangaroo riding Crocodile Dundees or something. In this respect Grand Reef is refreshingly restrained, and the website is simple, uncluttered, and straight to the point. Obviously the casino has styled itself on a Great Barrier Reef theme.
Pokies and Games at Grand Reef Casino
The Playtech games offered by Grand Reef are plentiful in both quantity and quality. Among the numerous poker machines (slots for the non-Aussies) available for play, there are a wide selection of progressive jackpot games which are tied into the Playtech-wide progressive jackpot pools. This means the jackpots grow as people from numerous different casinos contribute to them every day, and the big ones like Beach Life are often won in the millions (see below for a full list of current jackpots on offer). In addition, Grand Reef sports a bunch of traditional casino table games including various games of Blackjack, Video Poker, Roulette, Craps, Caribbean Stud as well as more exotic table and parlour games that you probably won't find at Crown Casino or Star City.
Support, banking and fairness
On the operations side of things, toll free telephone support and local fax numbers are available in both Australia and New Zealand and the casino supports direct bank deposits from local banks using your "Pay Anyone" internet banking facility. It also allows account holders to use Australian or New Zealand dollars as their native currency. The casino originally opened with an unlimited withdrawal policy, but this has since been changed to a maximum of $25,000 per month in the terms and conditions. However the reality is a stark contrast to the T&Cs. In practice we have found that the casino regularly attempts to pay players in weekly or monthly instalments of as little as $500 at a time. The money gets there in the end, but its a far cry from what is stipulated on the website, and there is no way that they will pay you as frequently or in the amounts that they advertise. Just read the comments from players below if you need any further corroboration.
In years gone by, Grand Reef would publish an audited report of their game payout statistics at the end of each month. In fact you can still see a list of these reports on the casino's website, beginning from March 2011. However it seems that the casino no longer regards this practice as worthwhile as the last published payout audit is dated May 2015.
Initially we liked what was being offered here at Grand Reef, especially for Australian and New Zealand players. Local support numbers and deposit options are great, as are the regular promotions. However as you can see below in the comments on this page, many players are complaining of slow and irregular payments so it would be remiss of us not to warn prospective players of this problem. In addition our recent discovery that the owners of this casino have a history of defrauding a jackpot winner is more than enough reason for us to warn players to avoid this casino altogether.