Playtech Casinos to Play – And to Avoid!

If  you are a seasoned online casino player as I am, you will undoubtedly know by now that the software platform plays a major role in determining your affinity towards an online casino. Playtech is one of a handful of casino software games developers who have been around for many years and whose games look and play very well. As of mid-2014, they are arguably seconnd only to Microgaming in this regard and franchises such as their Marvel licence and with big movie studios like MGM have ensured a succession of very cool slot games, many of which I play a lot myself.

But you will also probably be well aware that Playtech casinos can be a bit of a mixed bag. And if you didn’t know that, you do now! Customer service is as important to most players as the games and now that bonuses are more often seen as a hinderence to a gambler looking to turn a quick profit, it has taken on even more significance. This article re-assesses and updates the topic since my last Playtech casino overview authored back in 2011.

In my experience, there are definitely two camps when it comes to Playtech licencees. Thankfully, the days where real rogue operators operated on the platform seem to be pretty much over and unless you are a bonus abuser or playing with false ID, you will generally find payouts happen as expected. However, *when* they happen is another ballgame and, in some instances, the hoops you are required to jump through – like sending in notarised ID – can be traumatic.

The good news is that because there are two camps, it has become a bit easier to differentiate the Playtech casinos who know how to treat ustomers and those that take liberties.

The first clue is where the casino is licenced. If it has a UK (remote gambling) licence then you are pretty much guaranteed to be with one of the better Playtech casinos. With these being issued now and through Q3 2014 with a view to having them in place before the new Point Of Consumption gambling law kicks in in October, bookmakers that offer Playtech games like Paddy Power, Bet365 and Coral stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Until now, the leading licensing jurisdictions have been the Isle Of Man and the Channel Island of Alderney where 3 prominent Playtech brands including Irish bookies Paddy Power and Boylesports plus UK land-casino operator Genting have held a licence for some time. Of course, many casinos have been licenced in Gibraltar and Malta aswell – two more jurisdictions that are generally recognised as decent, altough they don’t offer quite the same level of player protection that the IoM and Alderney do. They also house a handful of Playtech casinos that are most definitely safe places to play but with the exception of the very decent Bet365 site and  Coral Casino are slower on processing cashouts: Gala Casino, Betfred and the Mansion Group being the main players. Betfred also recently acquired Totesport Casino and re-branded it “Totepool Casino“, another Playtech casino that historically had a very good reputation.

The Mansion Group, along with Gala, used to be top notch but service has notably dipped in the past couple of years or so. Both have a good product range but cashouts are rarely processed inside 3 days and in Mansion’s case they also ask for signed Faxback documents if you used a credit or debit card to deposit which is a major pita for me (see here for a list of cashout times and licensing jurisdictions). What Mansion do tend to do better than many of the other bookmakers though is to reward loyal players with bonuses and gifts which I admit to benefitting from personally when I was a VIP there 🙂

When you start to look away from the well-known brand names then although I have played a lot of them, there are ony a couple that I have found that I can truly say offer good service. Omni Casino (and it’s new sister Fly Casino) are one such operation who have been around for over a decade and have a very good reputation among players. The other is Sports Interaction who hold an Alderney licence and also do speedy payouts. To be honest, this is an advantage to smaller casinos in that it is easier for them to manage their customers than perhaps is possible under the stresses of running a larger company.

If you hit on another brand that you haven’t heard of then aside from looking at the licensing jurisdiction, bearing in mind my comments above, check out two things. Firstly, their “Banking” page which should give you an indicator of how long payouts take to process. If you see anything documented about “reverse times” or “pending periods” bear in mind that once you press the cashout button, that money is still accessible for you to “reverse” back into your account to play with. Look on that how you will but for me personally, it’s not a good thing and many Playtech casinos will have a pending time of 4 days. Then you have to get ID’ed, wait for approval and then for the money itself! The second clue is in the casino’s general Terms & Conditions – look in particular for cashout restrictions because a number of them will have a monthly – or even a weekly – withdrawal limit, something you don’t tend to get at the bookie brands.

One final note on Playtech bonuses. Historically, in order to compete, a lot of the lesser-known Playtech casinos have offered bonuses that look a bit tooo good to be true. Always, always read the terms of a signup bonus before you deposit because there willl be – no maybe – there WILL be lots of conditions and restrictions that will prevent you cashing out before you have jumped through more hoops than even an acrobat encounters!

Check out the Playtech slots section for details on specific Playtech slot games available and who has them.