Virgin Games in a nutshell
The name ‘Virgin’ is synonymous in the UK with the beardie entrepreneur Richard Branson. Branson began his business career in 1970 with a record shop, and eventually undertook numerous business adventures, including ones diverse as jewellery and space tourism.
Virgin eventually branched out into gambling, and eventually created their own online casino in 2004. Surprisingly, for a Branson product, ‘Virgin Games’ as it was known was not a success (although anyone remember Virgin Cola?). After limping along for several years, Virgin Games was sold to Gamesys in 2013. Gamesys were allowed to keep the Virgin branding as part of the deal.
Gamesys stripped down their new acquisition, and launched a brand new, scarlet-coloured website that merged slots, casino games and bingo. Is Virgin Games a place we recommend playing at? Why not read on to find out?
What’s the look and feel of Virgin Games?
We do approve of the design of the Virgin Games site. Too many online casino sites seem to chuck everything at you at once, but the Gamesys guys take a more leisurely approach. Of course, it helps that Virgin Games does not seem to have anything like the number of games that other sites have.
That aside, we do like the consistent branding displayed in all areas of the Virgin Games site, and the minimalist colour scheme.
What games are available at Virgin Games?
The fun at Virgin Games is split three ways – slots, casino and bingo.
We could only find four dozen slots at Virgin Games. A number of providers are available, including NetEnt and IGT, although these companies’ full catalogue of games do not seem to be present. There are a few choice titles though, namely Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest and Da Vinci Diamonds. Gamesys also chuck in a few titles of their own.
The casino offerings are even more scant: Three versions of roulette, five versions of blackjack and a version apiece of keno, video poker, baccarat, hi-lo, pai gow poker and caribbean stud poker. We are not impressed.
The third option is bingo, and even there you’ll only find two 90-ball (UK) bingo games and one 75-ball (US) game.
As Virgin Games, variety does not appear to be the spice of life.
There’s a trio of software providers available as mentioned previously: NetEnt, IGT and Gamesys themselves. More providers might be an idea, perhaps? That would lead to more games …
All games are played in the browser of your choice. No provision is made for mobile devices, and there are no live casino options.
What promotions are available at Virgin Games?
If you’ve never played at an online casino before, then you can snap your online casino virginity here with a pleasant 200% bonus up to £200 by joining Virgin Games. This only applies to your very first deposit, and the maximum amount you can load to qualify for the bonus is £100. The minimum is a tenner.
Usually, with ‘200% bonuses’ the wagering requirements are pretty tight, so let’s check ’em out …
Well, according to the Virgin Games you only have to play through your bonus TWICE before you can withdraw your funds. That’s right … TWICE!
Now, we got all giddy at that news, but – like some of Virgin Galactic’s space test flights, we were soon brought back to earth with a crash. Only Bingo counts 100% towards wagering requirements. That wouldn’t be too bad, but the game contributions of other activities are pretty pitiful:
- Slots and keno – 5%
- Roulette, pai gow poker and Caribbean stud poker – 1.25%
- Everything else (including baccarat, blackjack and video poker) – 0%
So, in reality, those 2x wagering requirements are – in effect – comparable to 40x at casinos where (as is typical) slots count 100%. Not allowing baccarat, blackjack or video poker to count at all is also pretty darn mean.
Oh well, if you love your bingo, you’re going to have fun grinding out this offer! You have thirty days in which to meet your wagering requirements.
In all fairness, Virgin Games does have quite a few other special deals. ‘Mile High Cash’ offers you the chance to win £500 on a daily basis, and you can earn yourself 10% cash-back every Thursday. You can also grab £20 simply by referring a friend.
Virgin Games runs a comp points system called V*Points. You receive one V*Point for every £5 you spend on Bingo, or £20 at the online casino. You can redeem your V*Points at any time for either cash or Virgin Flying Club Miles.
The cashier options at Virgin Games are just about as numerous as the gaming options. You have the choice of Visa (including Maestro), MasterCard, PayPal, Neteller and Skrill, and that’s your lot.
Both deposits and withdrawals have a £10 minimum. The maximum you can deposit depends on your choice of payment method, and can be up to £20,000 if you choose Visa or MasterCard. Withdrawals are processed within 48 hours (eWallets) or five days (plastic).
We’re happy to report that Virgin Games does not enforce any withdrawal limits.
The final verdict
It’s difficult to know what to say about Virgin Games. The lack of variety, mobile options and live casino games all count against it, but we do like the design of the site, the withdrawal times and lack of limits.
We do think though that keeping the name ‘Virgin’ when the casino is no longer owned by the Virgin Group is a tad misleading, as is the offer of 2x wagering requirements when slots count as little as five percent.
In short, we could recommend Virgin Games as the number choice for your online gambling, but if we did, we’d be ‘virgin’ on the ridiculous.