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Thunderbolt Casino Review

Thunderbolt Online Casino

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Nationalistic pride is an interesting beast. Depending on where you live, your country may be one of the chest-beating proud nations who want everything to be about them or a more humble country in that respect. Either way, there is something to be said for being proud of where you live and gravitating to branding that exploits that love of country.

I say this because these days, casino operators are focused more on tapping into this sense of nationality when it comes to branding their casinos. While many operators have their sites translated into different languages, others drill even deeper with promotions designed and only open to players from a specific country. Today, we will be reviewing an even deeper dive with Thunderbolt Casino, a brand clearly built for South African players. They claim to have the best online casino for players from this country…I will be the judge of that.


About Thunderbolt Casino

Thunderbolt Header

I wish I could tell you all about who owns and operates this casino, but finding that information has proven to be harder than normal. After a significant amount of research, here is the best that I could come up with.

The casino is owned by a company called Springbok Group, which also operates a similar site called Springbok Casino. There isn’t any information about the parent company on either website. The casino does have a license from Curacao, which leads me to believe that while the casinos are South African themed, that the ownership group isn’t necessarily from there. A Curacao license would have been a stipulation for their software vendor to have them come on board as a licensee; it doesn’t hold that much weight in the industry.

The casino has a full story about their brand on their website, which details that Thunderbolt Casino was launched in 2014 (I will spare you the rest of the story; you can check out their website for more information). While this isn’t a long period of time to be open, at least they are being honest about it!

Who Can Play at Thunderbolt Casino

So, here is where it starts to get interesting. You would imagine that a casino so focused on South African players would not allow players from any other country to access their games. Not so fast, folks…it would appear that if you love South Africa, and don’t live in one of the following countries, then you too can play all the games at Thunderbolt:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bulgaria
  • Belarus
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • United Kingdom
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Moldova
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Slovenia
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United States

Bear in mind that you will be doing everything in South African Rand, so as long as you keep those conversion rates in mind when you make your deposits, then feel free to download the software and get playing!

Software Suppliers

The folks at Real Time Gaming are providers of the casino games for this operator. RTG has been in business for over twenty years, and continue to push their development team to release improvements to their games as well as adding new titles to their Reel Series slots games. The company works closely with its licensees both in regulated and “gray-market” regions to ensure that all the features of the software are being utilized to their maximum potential.

The RTG platform is available in both download and instant play versions. You will not find all the games available for instant play, however; to get the full RTG experience you should download the software to your machine. The instant play games are also available for mobile browsers so you can take a crack at some of your favorite slots or table games on the road!

The Good Stuff

Great Website Design

I am a sucker for a good website; there are so many terrible ones in the online casino world that it can become very frustrating for me, and I know exactly what I am looking for when I get to a site! For first-time players, bad site navigation can be the difference between becoming a depositing player or just trying a different site.

When you get to Thunderbolt Casino, you will see excellent color schemes along with very clear text and navigation bars. This is the kind of casino that I like to see; nothing overly fancy but a clear eye for design and the impact that can have on play.

Jackpots

I love to believe that one day I am going to be the person holding the oversized check in the picture after winning some crazy jackpot amount; while I know this is a longshot at best, isn’t it worth a try? At Thunderbolt Casino, the checks may not be too oversized, but many progressive slots games offer you a chance to win some big bucks on top of the standard payouts. The biggest of these is definitely Megasaur, which has flirted with a seven-figure jackpot over the last couple of years.

The Bad Stuff

No Live Dealer?

This one is surprising to me on a couple of fronts. First off, Live Dealer games are becoming so popular amongst online casino players that it seems most operators are scrambling to add them to their offering. What makes this even more confusing in the case of Thunderbolt Casino is that Real Time Gaming entered into a partnership with a Live Dealer studio in 2015 with the purpose of being able to offer these games to their licensees seamlessly. Perhaps there is something in the agreement that needs to be addressed, but I am hopeful that the company gets these games added sooner than later.

Hot and Cold List?

So, I have raved about this feature at some casinos in the past; some places give you an idea of which games have been paying the most, and which is due for a big payout as a result of being so cold. In the case of Thunderbolt, I was pleased to see a tab named “Hot and Cold” but when I clicked on it, I only found a short intro followed by links to two slots games. There really should be more games listed, as well as a list of recent winners, to make this page feel a little more legitimate.

Game Selection

As I mentioned, you may not find all the games you are looking for in the Instant Play lobby of Thunderbolt Casino, so some of these games I review you may need to download to be able to access. Let’s have a look at all the different types of games you can find when you log on.

Slots

Thunderbolt Slots

The slots games from RTG are excellent; the development team is always working to come up with great content as well as making the games faster and more responsive. At Thunderbolt Casino, you will find the full complement of RTG machines. There are all sorts of different pay lines, and if you like to classic look of slots, then you will find a couple of those thrown in as well.

Here are a few of the titles you will find:

  • Achilles
  • Aladdin’s Wishes
  • Aztec’s Millions
  • Aztec’s Treasure
  • Aztecs Treasure Feature Guarantee
  • Bank on It!
  • Basketbull
  • Big Shot
  • Coat of Arms
  • Count Spectacular
  • Coyote Cash
  • Crazy Vegas
  • Crystal Waters
  • Derby Dollars
  • Diamond Dozen
  • Diamond Mine
  • Diamond Mine Deluxe
  • Double Ya Luck
  • Dream Run
  • Enchanted Garden
  • Goblin’s Treasure
  • God of Wealth
  • Goldbeard
  • Golden Glove
  • Golden Lotus
  • Golden Retriever
  • Green Light
  • Hairway to Heaven
  • Happy Golden Ox of Happiness
  • Haunted Opera
  • Hen House
  • Hidden Riches
  • High Fashion
  • Incan Goddess
  • It’s a Mystery!
  • Jackpot Cleopatra’s Gold
  • Jackpot Pinatas
  • Jazz Time
  • Jumping Beans
  • Lucky Tiger
  • Medal Tally
  • Megaquarium
  • Megasaur
  • Mermaid Queen
  • Mice Dice
  • Mister Money
  • Monster Mayhem 50-Line
  • Mystic Dragon
  • Naughty or Nice: Spring Break
  • Naughty or Nice?
  • Ninja Star
  • Nova 7s
  • Paris Beauty
  • PayDirt!
  • Penguin Power
  • Pharaoh’s Gold
  • Pirate Isle
  • Polar Explorer
  • Prince of Sherwood
  • Return of the Rudolph
  • Roberta’s Castle
  • Ronin
  • Rudolph’s Revenge
  • Snowmania
  • Spirit of the Inca
  • Sunken Treasure
  • Super 6
  • Sweet 16
  • Tally Ho
  • Texan Tycoon
  • The Big Bopper
  • The Elf Wars
  • The Naughty List
  • The Nice List
  • The Three Stooges
  • Triton’s Treasure
  • Victory
  • Vikings Voyage
  • Wok & Roll
  • Wooden Boy
  • Year of Fortune
  • Zhanshi

Video Poker

I love video poker. What I really like is that if you are playing with perfect strategy, some machines actually put the odds in your favor! For that reason alone, I always recommend that players give the game a try. And hey, who doesn’t love to have to think a little bit while you are playing; if you like mindless action, then just set a keno game to auto-play and come back an hour later! Check out the games and variants you can play:

  • Aces & Eights
  • Deuces Wild
  • Aces & Eights (multi-play)
  • Double Bonus (multi-play)
  • Joker Poker
  • Joker Poker (multi-play)
  • All American (multi-play)
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe (multi-play)
  • Jacks or Better (multi-play)
  • Double Jackpot
  • All American
  • Jacks or Better
  • Bonus Deuces Wild
  • Double Bonus
  • Double Double Jackpot
  • Sevens Wild
  • Sevens Wild (multi-play)
  • Pick ‘Em Poker
  • Loose Deuces (multi-play)
  • Loose Deuces
  • Bonus Deuces Wild (multi-play)
  • Double Jackpot (multi-play)
  • Double Double Bonus (multi-play)
  • Double Double Bonus
  • Double Double Jackpot (multi-play)
  • Deuces Wild (multi-play)

Table Games

Thunderbolt Table Game Selection

While the Table Games provided by RTG aren’t necessarily the best I have ever seen, I can tell you from years of experience with them that they are definitely going to work for you. I am not someone who needs a lot of bells and whistles while playing Blackjack; I want the game to be fast, fair and as friendly as a digital game can be. When I tested out the Blackjack games for this review, I can confirm that they were fast and fair, although my casino balance may disagree with how friendly they were!

Here are all the Table Games you will find in the Thunderbolt Casino lobby:

  • Baccarat
  • Casino War
  • Caribbean Stud Poker
  • Red Dog
  • Roulette
  • European Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Let ‘Em Ride
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Vegas Three Card Rummy
  • Sic Bo
  • Pontoon
  • Blackjack with Perfect Pairs
  • Caribbean 21
  • Caribbean Hold’em Poker
  • Face Up 21
  • Match Play 21
  • Super 21
  • Texas Hold ‘Em Bonus Poker
  • Tri Card Poker

Promotions

Thunderbolt Promotions

I really like the promotions area of this casino. First off, they have a whole bunch of different small offers that are ongoing; this is great for players who happen to want to play one day and are looking for some extra reason to make a deposit. Second, the promotions are easy to understand, and that means that players can focus on getting to the tables and playing!

Welcome Bonus

The Welcome Bonus is split into 4 pieces, all of which are slots-only bonuses. That isn’t great news for Table Games players, but more and more these days, sites are trying to avoid scammers coming in to take advantage of aggressive first deposit bonuses. Remember that all the promotions are listed in South African Rand, so you will need to have a currency converter handy. Here is how you can use the Welcome Bonus:

  • 100% up to R2500 COUPON CODE: FLASHMATCH1
  • 125% up to R2500 COUPON CODE: FLASHMATCH2
  • 150% up to R2500 COUPON CODE: FLASHMATCH3
  • free R2500 (no deposit) COUPON CODE: ULTIMATEFLASH

It is important to get to the 4th bonus because that one doesn’t require any deposit to qualify!

25% Cashback

So, let’s say you are someone who plays Table Games and therefore can’t take advantage of the Welcome Bonus…as long as you didn’t use one of the codes, then you are in luck! For players who make deposits with no bonus code, you can claim back 25% of your weekly losses simply by contacting customer service and requesting them. Hopefully, you will never need to use this offer, but if you do, it is an easy way to boost your bankroll after a tough week at the tables.

Facebook Free Spins

I like a casino that puts social media in play; it can be a great first line of customer service, and on top of that it is a great place to run flash promotions. In the case of Thunderbolt, if you like their Facebook page then you will be the first to find out which game offers Free Spins on Fridays!

Happy Hour

This offer is a deposit bonus only available to VIP players on Friday nights between 8 pm and 9 pm South African time. You can receive a 250% bonus to R5,000 as well as 100 Free Spins if you make a deposit during that timeframe.

For a list of all the other current promotions available, you can click on this link:

Banking

Banking options are geared towards players from South Africa, but that includes many of the most used payment methods in the industry. Bear in mind that to make a withdrawal, you have to send a whole bunch of documents to the casino, so you should probably just go ahead and make that file on your computer, so it’s there when you need it!

Deposit Options

  • EcoPayz
  • MasterCard
  • Neteller
  • Visa
  • Skrill
  • Wire Transfer
  • SiD
  • Bitcoin

Withdrawal Options

  • Bank Wire Transfer
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • SiD
  • Bitcoin

Comp Program

Thunderbolt uses the standard Real Time Gaming calculation for its comp program; for every R10 you wager in any of the real money games, you earn one point, which can then be collected and redeemed at a rate of 100 points to 1 Rand. Certain games offer double points on certain days, so you should keep your eyes peeled for those (usually announced in the lobby area of the casino).

VIP Program

Well, some promotions are only open to VIP players, but I still haven’t been able to find any information on this program anywhere. I can only imagine that the VIP program is private; management likely deems you a VIP based on a set of parameters they like to keep close to their chest.

I will admit this type of VIP management drives me a bit insane. If an operator wants to give players a reason to play more often, it needs to dangle the big, delicious carrot in front of their eyes. Not having a detailed explanation of what every status level brings in the way of rewards is basically like saying “we don’t think you deserve to know why you are important to us.” I hope that the company becomes more transparent with this information in the future.

Customer Service

Thunderbolt Support

As it says right on the Support page of the Thunderbolt website “We are looking forward to supporting you 24/7, 365 days a year, in your language, to make things as easy as possible.” Well, that’s an excellent sign, right? You can see the Live Chat box on the bottom of each page of the website, giving you instant access to one of the customer support agents. If you prefer to speak to someone on the phone, you can call the company on their toll-free line (for South Africa), or you can send the company an email and await their response. For me, Live Chat is still the best way to contact a casino; there is always someone ready to take your question, and there is a transcript you can save to ensure that you can keep the company honest.

Would I Play at Thunderbolt Casino?

I happen to live in an area that is allowed to play at this casino without restrictions. However, I also have the opportunity to play at literally hundreds of other online casinos, so Thunderbolt was going to have to blow my socks off to convince me to choose them. I will give the casino credit: they have an excellent offering, from the quality of the games to the ease of the website navigation. The tough part for me is not being able to play in any other currency except Rand; call me crazy, but I don’t want to always be doing the conversion on deposits and bets.

With all of that being said, if you can look past the slots-only Welcome Bonus and the currency issue, then I can recommend this casino to you. There are no red flags that would stop me from saying “Go for it”; if you come across anything I need to know, I encourage you to reach out to us and let us know!

This review was made by: Rating: 3.7 out of 5

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