Archive for May, 2010

Apple Approved Apps Coming Soon to an Online Casino Near You

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Check out Will Hill Casino's Mobile Phone App for iPhones

Check out Will Hill Casino's Mobile Phone App for iPhones

The race for online betting App’s is on! Following William Hill’s recent announcement the online casino operator had submitted an application to Apple for a downloadable app that would allow user’s to make real money wagers on Will Hill’s online sportsbook, three more rival internet betting operators – Bwin, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power – have announced their intent to do the same.

William Hill‘s app is called the “World Cup Predictor”, and apparently gives up-to-the-minute odds on matches, as well as the ability to log into one’s account to post live wagers. The details of Ladbrokes’ app has not been revealed as of yet, but considering the company is planning to get an approval before the World Cup – beginning on June 11th – there’s a good chance it is similar to Will Hill’s World Cup Predictor app.

Ladbrokes’ John O’Reilly says that while their mobile online casino betting suite is compatible with iPhone’s (as is Will Hill’s), launching an iPhone app is a whole new ballgame. ” It’s one thing having a web application, another thing having one through the iPhone Store – it has a different functionality”, said O’Reilly.

As for Bwin and Paddy Power, they aren’t in a total rush to get their iPhone app’s approved. Bwin’s Tomer Katz said his company is hoping to launch their app soon after the World Cup (pending an approval from Apple), while Paddy Power’s Darren Lovern said they are thinking about launching an app (ideally before the World Cup), but are weary of potential problems getting their application approved by Apple.

A taste of the mobile online casino action on your Smart Phone

A taste of the mobile online casino action on your Smart Phone

These concerns certainly aren’t without merit, albeit Apple did reverse their stance on gambling apps – having initially rejected apps submitted by Betfair and Tabcorp, only to later approve both applications. The main concern on Apple’s part, it would seem, pertains to children. One of Apple’s criteria for approving app’s is that it isn’t inappropriate content for children. Well, considering there are plenty of apps that are essentially pornography, Apple apparently has a standard by which to keep tabs on the more adult stuff.

Other criteria Apple looks for when reviewing app’s is whether or not the app crashes frequently (obviously), if it has buggy software in general, if there are unauthorized API’s being used, privacy violations and (get ready, this is the big one), whether or not the app “degrades the core experience of the iPhone”. As revealed by Apple recently, there is a forty person team reviewing some 8,500 new apps and updates to existing ones each week. Eighty percent of app’s are approved without changes needed, while 95% of all applications are approved within a two week time period.

In short, the likes of Bwin, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power need not worry about their app getting denied by Apple. All you supped up online gamblers be on the lookout. There’s bound to be an app coming out soon from your favorite online casino.

New York Horseracing Industry, NYRA, Awarded $25 Million Loan to Keep Afloat

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Another Packed House at New York's Aqueduct Horse Racing Track

Another Packed House at New York's Aqueduct Horse Racing Track

As low an approval rating as New York Governor David Patterson has, at least he has the support of the New York Racing Association, which is pretty happy right now. Well, I’d be pretty happy too if somebody gave me a $25 million loan. That’s right folks. Just when you thought the antiquated horseracing industry was about to die off like it rightfully should, the State of New York has stepped in to give the UIGEA another opportunity to engage one of its carveouts.

In case you are wondering how that might work, the UIGEA permits online horserace betting through State-licensed operators. It is one of the three niche carveouts referred to in the UIGEA as not being an “illegal form of online gambling”, although the UIGEA doesn’t go on to define what those illegal forms even are. Go chew on that. One would think that in order for the New York horseracing industry to stay afloat this time around, it will need to start asserting itself in the highly competitive online marketplace. The only thing is that the NYRA has been doing that for several years! Obviously, it’s not working. Can you say “SNAFU”?

Personally, I am ever so interested to hear what excuse the NYRA has this time around. Before the UIGEA, they were crying bloody murder against online casinos, sportsbooks and poker rooms, saying the New York horserace industry was losing business to illegal online gambling websites. Next, they are going to say it’s all because of the internet. Heck, they might even blame it on Starbucks, citing all the caffeine addicted Wifi users as potential bettors. But hold on just a second. They can bet online while drinking their latte in Starbucks, remember?

Apparently, even with protectionist legislation in its favor to thrive online, the New York horseracing industry can’t help but go downhill. Face it Governor Patterson – it’s a dying industry. Have you been to the racetracks, Governor? Yes, you probably have. You wouldn’t know it, but that’s because you are part of the dying generation that is trying to sustain a dying industry. Those two don’t go hand-in-hand. The truth of the matter is that the NYRA has not even said how they will go about keeping the State’s three largest horseracing tracks (Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct) from feigning another shutdown, let alone how they intend to pay back $25 million in tax payer dollars.

At this stage, the only semblance of hope for the New York horseracing industry is the installation of new video lottery terminals, which has apparently been dragging on since 2001(no operator has been named to run the terminals. Big surprise, eh?). In fact, it was the delay of these video terminal installations that prompted Governor Patterson’s office to draw up legislation covering the $25 loan. The State of New York was supposed to subsidize the NYRA if the terminals were not installed by April, 2009. Obviously, that hasn’t been happening. So let’s just give the NYRA a $25 million loan to buy some more time, shall we?

NYRA Chairman, Steven Drucker, certainly doesn’t mind. He had this to say in a recent press release: “The board of directors of the New York Racing Association Incorporated along with its management and dedicated employees are grateful for the State Legislature’s approval last evening of a $25 million loan, which guarantees world-class thoroughbred racing at Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course and Aqueduct Racetrack…We appreciate the dedication and perseverance of Governor David Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Conference Leader John Sampson, Senate Racing Committee Chairman Eric Adams and Assembly Racing And Wagering Committee Chairman Gary Pretlow and their respective staff members, which resulted in this legislation.”

Remember those names folks. Come reelection time, it will be very interesting digging through their campaign contributions.

How High is the Hype for Regulating Online Poker in California?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Introducing the chest...err...face of California's poker scene: Jennifer Tilly

Introducing the chest...err...face of California's poker scene: Jennifer Tilly

With all the talk about the impending enforcement date of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) this upcoming Tuesday, it seems that motions to consider regulating online gambling both on a federal and State level are springing up left and right. Well, if there ever was a time when online gambling in the States stood a good chance of being regulated, now is it.

The only thing I’m wondering is this: Since when were individual State’s permitted to offer online casino games under their own jurisdiction? Apparently, since forever. Making all the internet poker headlines right now is a bill being penned at this very moment that would essentially legalize online poker in the State of California.

Following last week’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing to consider the prospects of taxing internet betting (which apparently went over pretty well), the word on the streets is that although the UIGEA bans “illegal online gambling” on a federal level, State’s still have the right to regulate on their own accord. Okay, so maybe I’m the only one that has been in the dark about this, but I thought that State’s couldn’t do anything to regulate online gambling so long as the UIGEA was in effect.

But than again, perhaps it all amounts to hesitancy on the part of State government officials faced with trying to pass a highly controversial issue which the federal government and no other State  has even attempted doing. Whatever it comes down to, just as is this is the best time to get regulation going in the States, no other State is better suited to pass online gambling legislation than the State of California.

Stepping up to the plate on behalf of California, is Senator Rod Wright, who leads the committee that overseas gambling in California. Senator Wright’s aforementioned bill, specifically calls for the regulation of online poker, which would no doubt make a huge dent in the State’s $19.1 billion budget gap through June 2011.

Differing from a tribal initiative that would create an intrastate poker network, Wright’s bill would give the State Department of Justice the means to award 5-year contracts to three California-based online poker room operators, who would obviously have to meet financial and technical requirements. No doubt, there are online poker rooms monitoring the situation very closely and ready to set up shop in California. They certainly aren’t knocking on the Dept. of Justice door just yet, as getting an online poker network up-and-running could take two to three years, especially if there are challenges to the legislation.

Possible resistance could come from tribal leaders, some of whom fear that legalized online poker would steal revenue from their land-based casinos. Furthermore, there is speculation that Wright’s bill violates past agreements that limit competition from casinos. As for getting California poker players to buy-in, that’s another matter altogether. The bill would make gambling at non-State licensed online poker rooms a crime. Needless to say, if the State-licensed rooms aren’t giving players enough incentive, they will likely be inclined to play somewhere else online, regardless of being illegal or not.

DISCUSS THIS POST ON THE OCS PLAYERS GAMBLING FORUM

Tradition Online Casino Hands Over Operations to Licensor, Rival Gaming

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

RivalPoweredRival Gaming powered online casino, Tradition Casino has announced it will be handing over it’s operations to none other than the master software licensor, Rival Gaming. Launched little under one year ago, Tradition Casino has apparently been fighting to stay alive in the competitive online gambling waters since Day One.Granted, the handover does not mean Tradition will be closing its doors to new players. However, considering the severing of affiliate relationships, it stands to reason that Tradition Casino won’t be pulling in much traffic for the time being.

Things began unraveling for Tradition Casino when both players and affiliates began to experience a surge of delayed payments, and in some cases, non-payments. The latter mainly applied to affiliates, who were told that so long as banks were holding deposits from referred players, affiliates would not be paid commissions. In effect, affiliates were referring prized players to a defunct online casino.

Of course, it is hard to blame Tradition Casino, as they were primarily dealing with U.S. players. Depending on the processors and methods used to route deposits, some operators simply do not have the means to get by the many roadblocks that often befall U.S. facing online casinos. Truth be told, Tradition Casino should be commended for admitting their inabilities and dropping out now, rather than continue taking money from players and earning a spot on the blacklist’s.

As stated in a recent letter to affiliates, Tradition Casino management said, “We cannot stand to see Tradition Casino dying by lack of support from the majority of our affiliate members. That said, we can not blame you (affiliates), as you expect a financial return for the fruit of your work, exactly as us.… Given that we do not want to cheat nor “shave” your stats and/or stop paying our winners, we decided to stop the bleeding by stopping now our activity.”

Needless to say, it goes to show that affiliates are the life-blood for the majority of online casinos out there. For any players reading this, it’s a good lesson about the importance of affiliate websites. If you find one that you feel knows what they are doing and one whose word you can trust, always consult them for recommendations of online casinos to play at. It is the mission of Online Casino Suite to be such a site. While we certainly are not happy to see these events befall Tradition Casino, let it be known, they were never an approved site in our directory. They simply did not meet up to our standards being a newly launched online casino. Hopefully, Rival Gaming will be able to make something of Tradition Casino in the near future.

Online Bingo Rooms Continue Catering to Growing USA Market

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Ahhh...the good 'ol days of old smoky bingo rooms

Take a deep whiff...second hand bingo hall smoke at its finest; Credit: Rocket000

United States citizens have long been a prodigious source of the revenue that accounts for the multi-billion dollar online gambling industry. While it is impossible to give exact figures for each of the many forms and branches contributing to the overall industry as a whole, it is common knowledge that online poker, sports betting and online casino games account for the bulk of revenue going to offshore online betting destinations.

Although not as popular as the online casinos and poker rooms, online bingo rooms certainly take in their fair share of U.S. internet traffic. Steadily increasing over the last five years, online bingo traffic doesn’t just come from bettors looking for more of a social online gaming experience, which it does indeed provide for. Bingo traffic also comes from the same demographic of gamblers who enjoy frequenting online casinos for their large progressive jackpots and free bonus offers.

The US friendly bingo rooms of today, such as those making up the World Bingo Network (WBN), are now actually rivaling online casinos in many regards. Offering large free cash welcome offers of their own, bingo rooms are attracting loyal bettors looking for a good chance to win some money (with some free money, of course), and who also value the casual entertainment factor that inevitably becomes more interesting with the social element.

Bingo rooms like USA Bingo, even offer casino-style side games, such as micro-slots, roulette, blackjack and video poker. It’s no coincidence these are some of the more popular games at online casinos. By offering these popular games to bettors who are typically inclined to play at online casinos, USA Bingo is, in effect, introducing the game of online bingo to more players, many of whom now consider bingo their “game of choice”.

Knowing just how loyal many of their American bettors are, WBN and USA Bingo are also committed to keeping their doors open in light of the pending online gambling legislation (the UIGEA) seeking to block certain forms of online wagering. WBN is ever-so-aware of this potential roadblock, and has even published an announcement on their website, stating that they will continue monitoring the situation while remaining open for business on the US front.

Visit USA Bingo for a 250% Sign-up Bonus, 50% Cashback Guarantee and up to a 300% Redeposit Bonus. And if you can’t decide just one and simply would like to test out the bingo room, new players can claim a Free $30 no-deposit bonus.

Rome Casino Graduates to OCS Homepage and Best USA Online Casinos Page

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

An amazing offer from leading USA friendly Rome Casino

An amazing offer from leading USA friendly Rome Casino

Rome Casino has been listed and approved here at Online Casino Suite for well over a year now. One of the very first online casinos to debut under the newly launched Top Game platform, we wanted to give Rome a fair chance at proving themselves, and were certainly hoping they would come through for the players, and consequently, for us as well! The Top Game software platform showed a lot of promise, largely in part because its developers had ties to the white-label Playtech platform, and there was a good deal of buzz on the initial performance of the Top Game platform itself.

However, taking the side of caution, we decided to just give their flagship licensee, Rome Casino, a test run to see how things panned out. Needless to say, the fact that Rome is still approved by OCS, goes to show they haven’t done anything to jeopardize our trust. There have been no direct player complaints (maybe one or two that I can personally think of, both of which were quickly and amicably resolved), and the sentiment within the industry at large is that Rome Casino, and just as important, Top Game, have made a place for themselves in this online business. Granted, the road was a little bumpy in the past. Yet, there are no unresolved issues at this time and there is nothing to lead us to believe anything contrary to Rome’s commitment operating a reputable and noteworthy establishment.

Since Rome Casino first showed up on our online casino reviews page, a steady stream of Top Game software licensees have come out – all mostly catering to the U.S. market. OCS hasn’t gone so far as to approve any other Top Game licensee just yet (many of them are lacking in transparency), but we are certainly open to doing so in the future as more licensees get up to speed with our requirements of being approved, listed and recommended to our readers. For the time being, however, Rome Casino gets our sole, wholehearted recommendation. In fact, as of last week, we have moved Rome Casino to the Online Casino Suite homepage, Best Online Casinos page, and even moved them up on our main Online Casino Bonuses chart.

The latter of these moves was mainly due to the fact that Rome has improved/increased its welcome bonus offer once again. Originally a 200% play bonus worth $200 Free, Rome increased this to a multi-deposit bonus worth a total of $5,000 Free (100% up to $1,000 Free on five consecutive deposits). Now, Rome has increased the initial bonus to a massive 400% up to $3,000 Free and increased the remaining bonuses (on the second, third and fourth deposits) by twofold, worth 200% up to $1,000 Free each – a total of 1,000% Free in bonuses.

The play-through requirement is a reasonable 20x on all casino games other than card and table games. Don’t be confused by the 75x play-through in the general bonus T&C’s – this applies to no-deposit bonuses, which have a maximum cashout of $150. For 25% cash back bonuses on video poker, blackjack and roulette bets (Copia’s Cash Back Bonus), the play-through is an amazingly low 1x. For more information, please read the OCS Rome Casino Review. If you do decide to open an account, please come back to this review and click the “Share Your Experience” link to tell us and other players about your experience at Rome Casino.

U.S. Facing Online Casinos Help Players With Debit Gift Cards for Making Deposits

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010
Take Your Pick! Gifts Cards for Online Casinos

Take Your Pick! Gifts Cards for Online Casinos

With the June 1st deadline to enforce the UIGEA fast approaching, many online gamblers are wondering if the “stupidest law ever passed” (thank you Barney Frank) will have an affect on their online gambling activities. In other words, folks want to know if they are going to be able to deposit money – and most especially – withdraw their winnings from their favorite USA online casinos.

Basically, once the UIGEA is mandated to go into effect on June 1st, financial institutions and transaction processors are required by law to block online gambling transactions. But hold on just a second – not every online gambling transaction. You may recall that the UIGEA is filled with carveouts that allow fantasy sports betting, horseracing, and lotteries to accept online wagers. The only problem (and this is a BIG problem) is that the UIGEA does not define “illegal online gambling”, nor does it provide for any solutions or government backing in helping filter out all of the different kinds of online gambling transactions.

The American Banking Association has itself stated that effectively enforcing this law will be nigh impossible. Furthermore, there are so many ways around traditional methods of depositing with online casinos, i.e., credit cards and eWallets like Neteller and Click2Pay, which needless to say, have already enacted measures to block online gambling transactions with U.S. citizens.

One of the most effective methods being used to deposit at online casinos are credit/debit gift cards, which are essentially prepaid debit cards. Unless the U.S. government were to ban all prepaid cards (which they certainly cannot do), this method serves as a non-descript way of making “online gambling transactions”. The way it works is that cards must first be funded – either by direct deposit of paychecks, ACH money transfers, PayPal transfers or cash reloads at participating retail locations. Once the card has been funded, they can then be used to transfer funds to online casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks, you name it. As for receiving withdrawals, worse case scenario is that players will have to wait a week or more to receive a certified check in the mail.

The question you must be asking yourself now is, “Where can I get a prepaid gift card?”. Truth be told, there are plenty to choose from. And quite frankly, there are likely to be plenty more spawned as the demand to circumvent traditional methods of depositing funds with internet betting sites continues. Remember, the UIGEA does not implicitly make the act of online gambling illegal. It simply prohibits the transfer of funds between financial institutions and online gambling businesses, which is carried out by the operators and not the bettors themselves.

In terms of fees, each card varies (there are plenty to choose from). Granted, some can get expensive. However, this is where your best friend Wal-Mart enters the picture. In addition to the swarming crowds of crazy people, Wal-Mart carries a comprehensive supply of prepaid cards, and also allows you to reload your card for future uses. Retail stores from drug stores to bodegas allow you to do the same. However, it’s Wal-Mart that imposes the lowest fees (around $3), while there’s no fee whatsoever if using the paycheck direct deposit method of funding your prepaid gift card. Depending on the card, a one-time activation fee and monthly fee may also apply.

The best way to go about finding a reliable prepaid debit gift card is to start a relationship with an online casino you would like to sign up with. In other words, open an account at a trustworthy online casino you know to do business with U.S. players (check out our Best USA Online Casinos page), and then contact the cashier while logged into your account. From there, they will be able to guide you on how to get your account funded. Just to name a few, some of the one’s players are frequenting include Green Dot (www.greendotonline.com), Vanilla (www.vanillavisa.com), Wired Plastic (www.wiredplastic.com), and NetSpend (www.netspend.com). These are considered some of the more affordable gift cards out there. For example, WiredPlastic has a one-time activation fee of $9.95 and monthly fee of just $3.95.

Chartwell Technology Receives eCOGRA’s Certified Software Seal

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Chartwell joins eCOGRA in fostering casino software transparency

Chartwell joins eCOGRA in fostering casino software transparency

Chartwell Technology – the Calgary-based, Toronto Stock Exchange listed online casino software developer – is now one of a growing number of white-label software platforms to receive the eCOGRA Certified Software Seal. No easy feat, getting the nod from eCOGRA is akin to going through a U.S. Supreme Court hearing. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but there’s some serious transparency compliance requirements all the same!

For anyone unfamiliar with eCOGRA, or better yet, the eCOGRA Certified Software Seal, it stands for the highest degree of operator transparency in what can oftentimes be a highly nontransparent industry – the internet betting industry, that is. Originally reserved for online casino licensees of Microgaming Software (an original founding member of eCOGRA back in 2003), accreditations are now available for all manner of online casinos, poker rooms, sports betting sites, bingo rooms, network operators of such sites and software developers powering and licensing their wares to independent operators. At the time of writing, eCOGRA certifies over 150 internet betting site operators, and with the addition of Chartwell, has certified twenty software providers.

Now, just because an online casino or software company can afford to pay for an eCOGRA accreditation, does not mean they will pass the course! Of course, eCOGRA will work with all operators to get them up to speed. However, it is reasonable to say there are online casinos out there that could certainly afford to go through the motions of being accredited, but choose not to do so as they would prefer remaining nontransparent. Needless to say, that means they are hiding something, and more likely than not, cheating their players.

In the case of software developers like Chartwell, the mission is to be as transparent as possible in order to foster player trust. And when eCOGRA is called in to help make this a reality, it all being with a thorough on-site inspection and assessment of Chartwell’s facilities. As eCOGRA’s Compliance Manager, Shaun McCallaghan said, “The Chartwell team was completely cooperative and well prepared with all documentation and systems ready for compliance testing…meeting all requirements over several days of testing.”

Such testing is in accordance with eCOGRA’s eGAP (Generally Accepted Practices) procedure, which in the case of software developers, includes an assessment of internal management controls, internal controls over IT security, software functionality, control environment and network structure integrity (for poker platforms), and assessment of the randomness and fairness of the games.

The latter, of course, is what every online gambler wants to know. Are these games fair and is this online casino safe to wager at? Although this is the software platform we are talking about (eCOGRA has another seal – the Safe and Fair Seal – that is strictly awarded to online casino operators), it is the software platform which indeed has the built-in security protocols for handling transactions through the online cashier, as well as the RNG governing hand outcomes.

Granted, eCOGRA gives no absolute guarantee that approved operators are going to give a fair hand. They say on their website, “While eCOGRA does its utmost to ensure compliance with its principles, it cannot offer 100% assurance that the operation of any games at any given site is at all times in accordance with the eCOGRA requirements.” However, this is exactly why eCOGRA enforces ongoing monitoring and requires all accredited parties to undergo annual compliance review. In the case of online casinos, this amounts to monthly payout percentage reports, which all approved casinos must display on their website.

Speaking of which, Chartwell powers some pretty heavy hitter gambling sites in the European market. Mostly all-in-one betting sites using multiple software platforms to power poker, sports, horseracing, bingo and online casino gaming under one roof, Chartwell licensees include BetFair, Victor Chandler, Stan James and bwin. As for Chartwell’s gaming package, it mainly consists of fixed odds games for online casinos, available in both mobile and live dealer modes in addition to a standard desktop download platform.

U.S. Internet Gambling Regulation & Tax Enforcement Act: The Latest Revisions

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

God Bless You Jim McDermott...You're a Damn Good Man and Politician

God Bless You Jim McDermott...You're a Damn Good Man and Politician

On the heels of a US House Committee on Ways and Means hearing this morning regarding the feasibilities of taxing online gambling in the States, it seems only fitting to shed some light on the legislation that stands the greatest chance of being passed with this end in mind.

Called the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, this bill currently sits as a companion bill to the more widely known IGREA bill (Internet Gambling Regulation and Consumer Protection Enforcement Act), penned and touted by House Financial Services Committee Chairman, Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

The taxation companion bill’s author, Democratic Representative, Jim McDermott of Washington State, has been steadily working hard on this piece of legislation, and announced just this year he would be reintroducing the bill with several revisions, the least of which includes tax measures to encourage online gambling operators to operate on a legal basis – “legal”, meaning according to standards imposed by reg-
ulatory laws yet to be voted on by the U.S. Congress.

Obviously, that is the least of concern for anyone who is in support of regulating online gambling. First and foremost, the IGREA must be passed in order to, in effect, overturn the vaguely worded Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act – the bill that goes into effect on June 1, 2010 and which seeks to ban most forms of online gambling, including online casinos.

McDermott’s most noteworthy revisions to his bill include a revenue incentive measure for gambling-friendly State government’s and Native American tribes. This would impart a 6% rev share on all deposits that flow through them, likely operating in similar effect to Kahnawake Gaming Commission (that is, of course, if the Kahnawake Gaming Commission actually answered to federal authorities). Another recently introduced provision includes to revenue set-asides, and would designate 25% of said revenue to directly help foster care children and 0.5% toward historic preservation of the arts.

When all is said and done, the one thing that online gambling regulation in the U.S. has going for it right now is a massive federal deficit and several State’s on the verge of bankruptcy. This is precisely where taxation policy can influence the prospects of regulating online gambling by means of generating an estimated $41 billion for the federal government in ten years time. The ball is now in the court of the House Committee on Ways and Means, where pro online gambling legislation could soon be ready for markup.

Thunderstruck II Video Slot Makes Debut at Microgaming Online Casinos This Month

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Play Thunderstruck II @ Microgaming Online Casinos

Play Thunderstruck II @ All Slots Casino

What exactly does it mean to be Thunderstruck? Shaken to your core, perhaps? Struck by thunder? – Although I’m not quite sure how that would work. Well, in the case of the online casino video slot “Thunderstruck”, I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s the same as being awestruck, but at least it’s better than being lightning struck.

As the name entails, Thunderstruck II is the predecessor of a forbearer video slot under the same name. The difference is a higher viewing resolution, player achievements (read further) and that instead of offering five reels and nine paylines of action with a 45 coin max wager, Thunderstruck II gives you 243 ways to win. Sure, that many ways to win is hard to keep up with, but the process is quite simple and is one of the newest innovations with Microgaming casino slots. And who can complain about more ways to win, anyhow? 🙂

Odin and Thor is my Dawgzzzzzz!

Odin and Thor is my Dawgzzzzzz!

Launched earlier this month, Thunderstruck II has a an ubiquitous amount of scatters, wilds and multipliers – all certainly helping to make more winnings a reality at, not to mention the bonus rounds. In fact, there are four different bonuses, wilds and expanding wilds, 4 different free spin awards, scatter action and 2x to 6x multipliers.

Machine specs are as follows: 10 coin max bet, 30 denomination max wager, a base jackpot of 10,000 coins and a “Wildstorm” bonus jackpot of $2.4 million (one of the four bonuses available). Yes, you heard that right – $2.4 million. Just another small difference between the first and second version of Thunderstruck slot machine.

No sexy Valkyrie, but I'll take the Bonus!

No sexy Valkyrie, but I'll take the Bonus!

Identifying the symbols is the first step in understanding how many ways there are to win at Thunderstruck II. Thor’s hammer is the one you want to see the most, for three of them anywhere on the screen grants bonus round entry into the Free Hall of Spins. And every time you enter the Hall of Spins, there is greater opportunity to win even better bonuses. That’s because Thunderstruck II has a new feature called Player Achievements.

Based on your winning track record, Player Achievements gives you extra incentive to stay in the game longer. In the main game, a paytable tracks all of the ways you have won by highlighting it gold. When you (and your bankroll) has encountered all 243 ways to win, the entire paytable will light up and the Viking God Thor will bestow you with Gold status, essentially amounting to more winnings on all future spins. As mentioned, Player Achievements also applies in the bonus rounds.

Great Hall of Spins Bonus Rounds:

There's my sexy dame Valkyrie! Oh Yeeaaah!

There's my sexy dame Valkyrie! Oh Yeeaaah!

For your first five times entering the Great Hall of Spins, you will encounter the Norse Goddess, Valkyrie (who is must say is a true sexpot – too bad I couldn’t encounter her EVERY time). Serving as a 5x multiplier, three more Valkyrie’s in the Great Hall will trigger an additional 10 free spins. The next bonus chamber introduces Loki, the God of Mischief, who is perfectly suited to serve as an expanding wild and benefactor of 15 free spins. Entering the bonus round five more times (10 total) will qualify you to the next bonus chamber, where Odin, the Ruler of Asgard dishes out 20 free spins and up to 6x multipliers. Odin’s ravens – Huginn and Muninn – randomly turn into 2x and 3x multipliers separately, while in conjunction will turn into a 6x multiplier. The last bonus chamber comes after the 15th entry in the Great Hall of Spins, and is manned by Thor himself. Here, you will receive 25 free spins and the Rolling Reels feature, which awards 5x winnings.

Last and greatest of all, Player Achievement Gold Status is achieved after entering the Great Hall of Spins for the fifteenth time.

As you can see, there is plenty to win gambling on the Thunderstruck II online casino slot. If you would like to get started doing so, or would simply like to give Thunderstruck II a go in practice mode, check out the OCS Microgaming Casinos page for a list of our highest recommend Microgaming powered and eCOGRA approved online casinos.