Sun Bets Casino is an online casino established in 2016 that runs on a multi-software platform offering games from a variety of suppliers. It is operated by Tabcorp UK Limited and is registered under the jurisdictions of United Kingdom and Ireland. Last updated: February 18, 2019.
The Sun tabloid newspaper is known throughout the UK and indeed the world as a scurrilous gossip and faux news rag that never lets the truth get in the way of a good story. It strikes me that perhaps that isn't the kind of reputation you would want to associate with an online gambling operation. Nevertheless, in an attempt to leverage its brand the paper's owners News Limited struck a licensing deal with Australian gambling conglomerate Tabcorp in 2016 to allow them to run a betting and casino site using the newspaper's name, Sun Bets. Thus the The Sun Casino was born.
The Sun Bets site is organised into four sections: Sun Bets (sports betting), Sun Casino, Sun Casino Live and Sun Vegas. Combined, the three casino sections allow players from the United Kingdom and Ireland to play hundreds of games from the likes of Playtech, Microgaming, Net Entertainment, Thunderkick, and Big Time Gaming among others. As is the way these days, the games are provided via a web-based platform that loads directly in your computer or mobile device's web browser. Signing up is relatively straightforward though I got a bad taste in my mouth when I noticed I had to uncheck a box to avoid getting promo spammed by the casino, yet I had to check the next box to stop them from forwarding my details on to News Limited to be promo spammed by them. It is very sneaky, so watch out.
The Sun Casino tab houses games exclusively supplied by Playtech. Most of these games are video slots and feature the general features (free spins, wilds, scatters) that you have come to expect. There are many highlights, with big name games like The Matrix, Top Gun, Rocky, and Space Invaders mixed in with old classics such as Great Blue and A Night Out. There are a reduced subset of the regular pooled Playtech progressive jackpots present at this casino, with the notable ones available including Beach Life, Age of the Gods, Gladiator, and Franke Dettori's Magic Jackpot. These all offer prizes that can make you instantly wealthy. There are also table games including blackjack, roulette, and various table poker games, along with video poker titles available.
The Sun Vegas tab has a mix of games from a bunch of other developers and personally I found it the far more interesting part of the site. There you can find games from Microgaming, Nyx, Net Entertainment, Thunderkick, and more available. Some of the better games on offer at the time I checked included Gonzo's Quest, Starburst, Thunderstruck II, Game of Thrones, and Bonanza. This is a bright spot, as the games are much more enticing than the standard Playtech fare. On the other hand the organisation of this section of the site leaves a lot to be desired. Under the Vegas section you can find a bunch of tabs named after famous casinos from around the world, namely Riviera, Horseshoe, Stardust, and Venetian. I am sure whoever dreamed this up thought it was a great idea but in reality filing the games more or less randomly under these various tabs makes no sense and provides no usability benefit at all. Thankfully there is a quick search box that allows you to search for a game by name. This works well, albeit with the caveat that if you're in the Vegas section it won't find games in the Casino section and vice versa.
Finally there is a Sun Casino Live tab that curiously duplicates the list of games that you can find in the Sun Casino tab already. These games are broadcast out of Playtech's massive live dealer studio and provide high definition games that gives you one of the closest experiences you'll see to playing at a brick and mortar casino.
Banking is a real sore spot at Sun Casino, as the site only has the bare minimum options for depositing and withdrawing funds. It only allows for movement of funds via Visa or Mastercard credit or debit cards. The payout speeds are nothing to write home about either, and you can usually expect to wait at least 48 hours to find the withdrawn money back on your card. I found that this casino is scrupulous in its efforts to verify your identity so, while they typically won't ask you to verify anything when you first deposit, you should expect to have to provide identification documents when you make your first withdrawal even if it is only for a very small amount.
Customer support is available through live chat, telephone, and email between the hours of 7am and 11pm GMT. I never had a real issue in the casino but feigned ignorance of how to deposit funds and was given a good walkthrough on how to accomplish that by a helpful and friendly support agent. This is about what I expect from a casino's support team.
The Sun Bets Casino protects player information using industry-standard SSL encryption. This security protocol is standard for shopping and casino sites alike and is a good thing as it makes your data unreadable by anyone not authorised to.
Sun Bets is licensed to operate by the UK Gambling Commission and the Inland Revenue department of the Republic of Ireland. It discloses that it segregates player deposits into separate accounts that cannot be used to pay off the casino's debts in the event of insolvency. This meets the standards required by the UKGC to be classified as providing a "medium" level of protection for player funds, and it is a very good thing to see.
While the casino does not publish audits of its payout rates, it does disclose the theoretical RTP numbers for many of its games, albeit in an inconsistent manner. The RTP percentages for Playtech games can be seen one at a time by clicking on the more info button on each game as you browse the Casino tab. You can find a consolidated list of numbers for the Microgaming games from the Vegas tab inside the casino's help and FAQ section. Some of the other games disclose these numbers in game, while others don't disclose them at all. I have to say the effort at transparency is commendable but once again the execution is a little off and reinforces the feeling that this is like a couple of different casino sites glued together at the hip.
The site has a good set of information on fighting gambling addiction and they do their part to offer ways to curb problem behaviour. You can set deposit limits and reality check intervals where you are reminded by the casino of how long you have been playing. You can also request a short break for a defined length of time, as well as a temporary or permanent self-exclusion. There are also links to outside gambling counselling groups that can provide assistance. This is what I expect to see from quality operators, so it's good to see the info in place.
I went into this one thinking that if the casino was anywhere near as bad as the newspaper, it would be about as enjoyable as a punch in the eye. What I found instead was a surprisingly decent betting site with some good features that is unfortunately let down by the problems mentioned above. It has real shortcomings in the way the games are organised and in discovering the games you want to play across the site, while the lack of banking options is a big hinderance that keeps this casino from approaching the elite.