|Software & Games:|
Welcome to my review of Casino Mate! I had heard about this casino a while ago but had naturally assumed based on its name and some of the information I had read that is a casino only open to players from Australia. Now that I get to review casinos for a living, I went back to this brand, only to find out that I was completely incorrect.
What else could I have been wrong about? It was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work on tackling this casino brand, with the goal being an honest review that you could count on when making your decision about whether or not to play here.
As always, this is a team effort, and I encourage my readers to send me your feedback about Casino Mate. Good or bad, I like to have as many different viewpoints as possible, and if something is brought to my attention that requires an update to this review, then I will make that happen. Okay, let’s have a look at this exciting casino brand!
About Casino Mate
The genesis of Casino Mate goes back quite a few years now, and not without some controversy. The original owners of this casino was Vegas Partners, and this company did have some complaints from players regarding this casino and another one they managed. The new owner of this site is listed as Star Partners (a little too close to the old name), but having checked the forums, I have not come across any recent complaints, so I am giving this group the benefit of the doubt in this case.
Casino Mate has a license from the Malta Gaming Authority, and that is another reason why I am excited about getting down to the playing part of this review. That jurisdiction is known for being very tough on casinos who don’t play by the rules, and the owner would have had to have gone through an extensive due diligence process to receive the license. This should put your mind at ease about the safety of your deposits.
Who Can Play at Casino Mate?
Even though this site is geared towards Australian punters, the bottom line is that it is open to anyone who isn’t from a country on the restricted list supplied by the Malta Gaming Authority. Here is that list, and if you find yourself on it, then I suggest you read some of my other reviews to find a site that is available for real-money play in your area.
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
- United States
- South Africa
Another reason to feel good about Casino Mate is the list of software suppliers it has bringing you games in its lobby. Some of these companies wouldn’t touch an operator with a checkered past, so this is another reason to feel safe with this site. Here is who is providing the games for Casino Mate:
- Play’n GO
The Good Stuff
There is far more information about how to play each of the games offered than on many of the sites that I have reviewed in the past. For the advanced gambler, this won’t matter, but I can remember back to a time when I was intimidated by games like baccarat simply because I didn’t understand the rules of the game. I think this is a nice move by Casino Mate.
Hot and Cold Games
This is always an interesting piece of information given on a site, although I am not sure how it would affect my gameplay. You can see a list of the games that are the hottest (paying out the most) or coldest (paying out the least), and if you believe in one theory or the other, you can select your games from there. Personally, I just stick to the games I like, but I have friends who swear by chasing after cold machines that are “just ready to burst.”
The Bad Stuff
Holy cow, this site is in dire need of a makeover. When trying to find any information on the website, I feel like I am going around in circles, and I cannot understand why the information is not laid out in a more clear format. On top of that, some of the buttons cannot be seen from my browser, so the site clearly needs more optimizing.
I will go into more detail later on in this review, but when I was reviewing the bonuses and offers from Casino Mate, I noticed that many of them were simply cut and pasted from one of the sister sites of this casino, House of Jack. Now, while I have no problem with sharing of resources or a pooled jackpot, there should be a little more effort placed on keeping players loyal with the promotions being delivered.
Knowing what software companies were being used to power Casino Mate, I was excited to get to the playing section of the review. Okay…truth be told, I jumped right in and started playing before I did all my research on the company history, etc.
The good news for players is that the majority of the games offered have been configured for mobile play through the browser of your device, so you shouldn’t lose any integrity when moving from your PC to your phone or tablet. The bad news is that certain software providers (Microgaming, to be specific) have added restrictions on who can play their games, so some of you who are reading this may not be able to see all the games I am talking about in the lobby.
Video poker fans will rejoice at the number of game options at Casino Mate. Not only are there some of the most popular variants of the game, but you can also find many of the games available in multi-hand format. This allows you to play up to 100 (yes, one hundred) hands at a time. This adds an entirely new level of excitement to the game.
Here are the variants I found when looking in the Casino Mate lobby:
- Aces & Eights
- Aces & Faces
- All Aces
- All American
- Bonus Deuces Wild
- Bonus Poker Deluxe
- Deuces & Joker
- Deuces Wild
- Double Bonus
- Double Double Bonus
- Double Joker
- Jacks or Better
- Joker Poker
- Louisiana Double
- Tens or Better
This section of the casino feels like a bit of an afterthought, which is very discouraging for those of us who love to play table games. With the partners that are on board and my knowledge of what games those vendors could offer, I am surprised that there are so few choices in this tab of the lobby. Don’t get me wrong, I think that most of you may not care that some of the games are missing. However, if you are a seasoned casino player who has accounts at multiple sites and likes to play table games, this site may not be the best for you.
The games that I did try had great speed and sound effects, and I especially liked the way the European roulette game felt as I played. Overall, while the volume isn’t there, the quality still is, and that is still very important when it comes to my overall rating for this casino.
Here are the choices that you will have when you go looking for table games at Casino Mate:
- 21 Burn Blackjack
- 3 Card Poker
- Atlantic City Gold
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- Casino Hold ‘Em
- Casino War
- Pai Gow Poker
- Spanish Blackjack
- Three Card Poker
- Vegas Downtown
- Vegas Single Deck
- Vegas Strip
Slots are where you can really see why Casino Mate is working with so many software developers. The difference in design from the 3D games of Betsoft to the branded content of Microgaming is all on display in the lobby, and while I wish the navigation and filters were a little bit better, I can live with it to get access to the hundreds of games being offered.
Here are a few that I have either played in the past and enjoyed, or have tried and now believe you will enjoy as well:
- Avalon II
- Bar Bar Black Sheep
- Bars & Stripes
- Big Kahuna
- Curry in a Hurry
- Enchanted Woods
- Frost Bite
- Frozen Diamonds
- Fun House
- Game of Thrones
- Golden Goose
- Gopher Gold
- High 5
- Jungle Jim El Dorado
- Karaoke Party
- Ladies Nite
- Lady in Red
- Little Chief Big Cash
- Major Millions 3 Reel
- Mega Moolah Isis
- Monster Meteors
- Monsters in the Closet
- Path of the Penguin
- Queen of the Jungle
- Quest for Beer
- Reel Gems
- Reel Play Poker
- Sunset Showdown
- The Legend of Olympus
- Tomb Raider
- …and many more!
I will admit I am pretty bummed out that there is no live casino to be found at Casino Mate. I know that Microgaming has done a development deal with Evolution Gaming, making it easier to integrate their awesome live dealer games into Microgaming’s clients, but there is obviously a disconnect with this casino. Knowing how popular the games have become over the last decade, I can imagine that players will soon be demanding that Casino Mate add these live-streamed tables to its lobby.
Here is a chance for Casino Mate to wow me – and all my readers – with a great set of promotions. While there are some deficiencies in site navigation and game selection, a good set of bonuses can wash away all that negative. I am going to focus on a couple of the promotions in more detail here.
When you land on the Casino Mate homepage, you are greeted with an offer of up to $1,400 in welcome bonuses. When I investigated that in a little more detail, I found that this was split up over the first 4 deposits you make at the casino:
- 1st Deposit: 100% to a maximum of $200
- 2nd Deposit: 50% to a maximum of $300
- 3rd Deposit: 50% to a maximum of $400
- 4th Deposit: 50% to a maximum of $500
So, that doesn’t sound all that bad, although I would like the percentages to be a little more aggressive. The wagering requirement is very high (50x), so even if you do make the maximum deposits, it is unlikely that you will actually clear the bonus.
You should also be aware that the maximum that you can cash out from any bonuses is $5,000. Again, this would be a good problem to have, but it is still something to keep in the back of your mind if you go on a big run.
Hidden Spin Sundays
This is a nice little recurring promotion that rewards those of you diligent enough to log in and look around in the slots lobby. While it doesn’t pay out a lot, I still like promos that don’t cost a lot and force activity on the site. Here is how the site describes how this promotion works: There are 5,000 free spins located inside the slots on Sundays. All you have to do is open a game and see if a free spin is there waiting for you – that’s it! The maximum you can make from the free spins is $200, but considering they cost nothing, that’s good value!
With no Americans to worry about from a payment processing standpoint, the door is wide open for Casino Mate to choose whatever providers it wants for their players’ banking needs. The list amassed by this site doesn’t have a lot of the products that are localized for some European countries, but overall, I have my doubts that you will have any trouble making your deposits and withdrawals.
- Direct Bank Transfer
- Pay Spark
- Direct Bank Transfer
- Pay Spark
So, there is a VIP program at Casino Mate. There is even a section of the website dedicated to this program. However, this site falls short when it comes to letting us know the full extent of the details of the program. For all the splash that there is on the website, I need more substance in order to be able to properly calculate the ROI of playing at this casino.
What makes matters worse at Casino Mate is that the VIP program is completely subjective. You need to send the site an email expressing your interest in the program, following which the team evaluates your account before sending you a response. To me, this is nonsense; players should be able to know how many points they need to earn to reach each level of a VIP program – this is the information required to elicit the behavior the site is looking for from players.
The customer service department at Casino Mate is available to you 24 hours a day and can be reached via several methods. These include live chat, email, and telephone, which are the industry standards. I would like to see the site add a few more modern forms of communication. Most players are on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, and this would be a great place for the casino to take care of first-level customer support.
I will give the casino some credit for having a frequently asked questions section, where you can find the answers to about 30 of the more general questions about the site and the promotions.
Would I Play at Casino Mate?
With a full understanding of the site now, I cannot say that this is my favorite site out on the market today. While I appreciate the multiple software suppliers that are being used and the fact that the casino has 24-hour customer support, the promotions and VIP program aren’t nearly as attractive as other casinos that I have reviewed.
While I wouldn’t tell my readers to absolutely not play with the casino, what I am saying is that there are many great casinos out there, and you should read some more reviews on this site before making a final decision about Casino Mate.
This review was made by: LegitGamblingSites.com Rating: 4 out of 5