Sapphire Rooms Casino Review
Sapphire Rooms Casino is an online casino established in 2012 that runs on a multi-software platform offering games from a variety of suppliers. It is operated by Nektan (Gibraltar) Ltd and is registered under the jurisdictions of Gibraltar and United Kingdom. Last updated: June 15, 2016.
Review of Sapphire Rooms Casino
Sapphire Rooms Casino is mobile focused casino dedicated to exclusively servicing players from the United Kingdom. It runs on a platform provided by Nektan, a fairly new player in the mobile and online gaming space. I decided to take a look to see if this is a gem of a casino as it claims.
Software and game selection
Sapphire Rooms Casino presents itself a high-class establishment and runs with this 'exclusive' theme by offering a limited number of games - around 100 at the time of publication. The simple grid layout, a stalwart of current mobile design, makes an appearance here too. And while Sapphire Rooms is compatible for desktop play as well, I have seen other mobile-first sites that pull off the presentation much better on the big screen.
The registration process is simple enough and the whole process only took a few minutes, making access to the games easy and fast. The games available are mostly slots and fruit machines that are supplied by developers that include the likes of Nektan, NextGen Gaming, Net Entertainment, IGT and WMS Gaming though there are only a selected handful from each developer, not their full catalogues. Many of you will no doubt be familiar with the popular NextGen games such as Medusa II, Merlin's Magic, and Jackpot Jester 50,000 that are available at countless other casinos. These games are beautifully presented and while many have been available on desktop casinos for a few years now, they have made an excellent transition to mobile format.
However I was more interested in checking out what Nektan games have to offer as I am always pleased when I discover games from a new developer that I have not come across before. Nektan's titles cover a variety of themes ranging from sports, to adventure, to the Wild West and are well optimised for play on your mobile device with large touch zones positioned on the edges of the screen (playing in landscape orientation). I also tried them on my desktop computer and found that you get the exact same game scaled up to your browser window width, with the touch controls in the same position, only clickable with a mouse. Their games have colourful and sharp graphics, but are silent for the most part except for playing some backing music while the reels are spinning that quickly cuts out when they stop. The two games I enjoyed the most were Heroic: Eye of the Dragon (think Tolkien, dwarves, elves and dragons), and Cave Raiders HD. I can't say that I was terribly impressed with what I saw from Nektan overall though, as most of the games are average in terms of the presentation and features.
If table games are more to your liking, I am sorry to report that the casino offers just Blackjack and Roulette. Furthermore, the casino's focus on mobile gaming highlights the inherent limitations of the platform for games like Blackjack in particular. No doubt due to restricted screen space, you can only play one hand at a time, so if you like to multi-hand you're out of luck. The house rules aren't particularly good either, resulting in an edge of 2.7% for the casino as opposed to the 0.5% or less that I have come to expect at most online casinos. At least the roulette follows standard European single zero rules but again, the restricted space of mobile devices mean you only see the wheel after you place your bets and hit spin. Sapphire Rooms really needs to step things up in this department, as there is a lot of competition out there from mobile only and traditional online casinos that have hundreds of games, including multiple variations of the table games available on mobile and tablets.
Banking and customer support
The banking options at Sapphire Rooms Casino are fairly standard, with the casino offering all the core deposit and withdrawal options through credit card and e-Wallets. One interesting method they offer is Boku, which allows you to charge your deposits directly to your mobile phone bill, though any withdrawals must be paid to your bank account as Boku does not work in the other direction. In light of the fact that they only accept UK-based customers, the relatively small choice of options should not present a problem for players. Withdrawals are capped at a measly £2000 per day and £5000 per month, unless otherwise arranged with the casino's management. The casino states that it holds customer funds separately from operational business funds, which should in theory prevent the loss of your money should the casino ever run into financial trouble.
I'll make a quick mention of the bonus rules at Sapphire Rooms here because to be blunt they are pretty bad. The wagering requirements on both free chips and deposit bonuses are massive. Should you manage to somehow beat the odds you'll find that you can only withdraw a maximum of four times the originally awarded bonus amount. In reality they are traps disguised as bonuses and you are best advised to avoid claiming them altogether at this casino.
Customer service is available through email and telephone. The casino also provides a postal address for anybody who wants to converse via traditional mail. While the site doesn't offer instant text messaging like most other casinos, mobile gaming probably lends itself better to calling someone via the phone you're holding at the time, particularly while you're on the go.
Security, Fairness, and Responsible Gaming
Things are a good in terms of the security of Sapphire Rooms Casino, as the site encrypts all information using a SSL connection, meaning that anything you send to the casino or get back from it is encrypted and private. Fairness is covered as well at Sapphire Rooms, as the casino uses NMI as an independent auditor of games available for play, and each game has its RTP percentage published in its help screen. Sapphire Rooms also posts its random number generator certificates for players to view, and it carries these accreditations through the jurisdictions of United Kingdom and Gibraltar.
One interesting and slightly odd thing that I discovered in the terms and conditions is that should you decide to close your account at the casino, the casino has a policy of holding your information for six years from the date you end your relationship with the casino. This seems like quite a bit of time to me and I question why this is necessary.
Responsible Gaming is a topic that we take very seriously at Casino Listings, and I'm happy to report that Sapphire Rooms Casino has information about problem gambling, how to identify if you or someone you know may have an issue, and links to organisations where you can seek help if you need it. Furthering their responsible gaming stance, Sapphire Rooms Casino has the option for players to contact staff to discuss their gambling play, place deposit limits on accounts or instigate self-exclusion from the site.
I really thought that Sapphire Rooms Casino was going to be something special when I first visited the site, but have come to the conclusion that the casino is more or less average. While it does some things well, Sapphire Rooms Casino is too limited in scope with its small number of games for my liking, and the overly restrictive bonus rules and withdrawal limitations in particular left a sour taste in my mouth.