Casino Mate Casino Review
Here is another fun review for me to tackle! I love everything about Australia, from the amazing weather to the attitudes of their people. So, whenever I come across a casino that is Australia-themed, I know I am in for a good time. Now, the gambling laws in Australia have recently changed, forcing many companies to abandon doing business with those residents. This is not the case with Casino Mate, who have decided to throw caution to the wind and continue to accept players from Down Under.
As always, I plan on being brutally honest with this review. My love of the Australian culture does not cloud my vision when it comes to this site. In fact, if anything, it makes me scrutinize a site even more. I am going to investigate their payment methods and see if there are enough ways to get your money to and from the site easily, as well as take a look at all the games that this casino has to offer. I'll cover their customer service department (complete with a test of their agents), and I'll make sure that you are getting the best bang for your buck with their bonuses and promotions.
So, with a Fosters in my hand, it's time to review Casino Mate for you!
As you read through this review, you will see how torn I was in trying to give this site an overall rating. The site does some things very well, and yet falls flat on its face in other elements. Overall, I think the offering is good, but there are some quick fixes the site can make that would definitely result in a higher overall rating. When you are reading the review, make sure you take note of the features that are most important to you, and you may very well find the rating in your mind to be higher than the 3.5 I have given Casino Mate.
Using software from multiple vendors, Casino Mate offers players a great array of Table Games and slots, featuring several different designs. Slots players will clearly see the vast number of titles available to them. The one thing keeping this score from being higher is the lack of any Live Dealer games. These games have increased in popularity to the point where they should be added to as many casinos as possible. I think Casino Mate has missed the boat by not yet integrating Live Dealer.
There are plenty of reliable payment options for players at Casino Mate. From traditional credit and debit cards to e-wallet solutions, I doubt any player is going to have much of a problem making a deposit, and the lack of withdrawal fees (at least charged by the casino) is a plus as well. I am interested to see when this operator decides to dig in and add cryptocurrency options.
Casino Mate gets a bad score when it comes to the bonuses as a whole. While I do like the breakdown of the Welcome Bonus, it is right there that the positives end. Many of the ongoing bonuses are copies of the House of Jack offers. The casino needs to spend more time on coming up with unique promotions for the different brands. The VIP program exists, but without any real information on the tiers and rewards, it is hard for me to give it a good score.
I tested the Live Chat feature and was very satisfied with the response I received to my questions. I like that the support department is available 24 hours a day, and also that you have multiple ways to contact the site. I would like to see some Frequently Asked Questions added to the website, and perhaps a little stronger social media presence so the casino can tackle first-line support via those methods.
Yikes. For a casino that has been around for some time, they could do some work on the website interface. It isn't as easy as I would like to filter through games and find ones I am interested in playing. I always like to have the option of filtering by the software provider, especially when there is a slots catalog of well over 400 titles. Overall, while I appreciate how the information is laid out on each page, the struggle is in finding the pages in the first place. This is a pretty easy fix, and I know with some minor design changes I could increase this score.
The casino games are all browser-based, which means you can access them just as easily from your mobile device as you can from your PC. The website pages are repurposed for mobile use, and truthfully you won't need to spend time on the website once you have created an account - you will log in and head straight to the casino floor! There is no native app for any operating system at this time, but as gaming jurisdictions become more regulated, we may see a Casino Mate app in the future.
The Basics About Casino Mate
Casino Mate is a brand that has been around for many years. The ownership group was once listed as the famous Vegas Partners Lounge group, who had managed several online casino brands over the years. The ownership is now listed as Star Partners, which I suspect involves some crossover with the Vegas Partners organization. As far as I am concerned, I don't really care who is listed as owning a site as the real owners are buried so deep under layers of companies that it becomes irrelevant.
What is more important to me is where a casino is licensed. The good news for readers of this review is that Casino Mate is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority. Malta has established itself as one of the most respected gaming jurisdictions, with the main focus being on the security of player funds. To that end, Casino Mate must keep all their player funds in a segregated account than their operating funds, which means you can feel safe knowing your deposits aren't going to disappear magically.
While Casino Mate is clearly targeting the Australian market, another plus for most of my readers is that the casino is open to players from many other countries. The list of restricted countries does include the UK and the US, which isn't entirely surprising. Here are all the countries that cannot play real money games at Casino Mate:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
- United States
- South Africa
My favorite part of any review I write is the review of the games. If you have read my other reviews, you will know that I was a pretty serious casino gambler before I got into the business of reviewing online casinos. This experience gives me the expertise to evaluate casinos in detail, and also the skills needed to make sure my bankroll lasts long enough to actually play most of the games during my testing session!
One of the first things I noticed when I created my Casino Mate account was how simple it was to make an account and a deposit. The registration process is very quick. However, I did notice some issues with the navigation around the site - the menus aren't as organized as I would like, and the layout of the site feels a bit dated. This is surprising, especially when you consider that the sister site, House of Jack, has a very modern look and feel to it.
Ok, enough about the website, let's have a look at the games!
I am a bit shocked that Casino Mate doesn't have a set of Live Dealer games in its lobby. This is usually one of the first places I head when I am entering a casino - I like to scope out what software they are using, especially for the Live Casino. Sadly, there wasn't a Live Casino tab nor any games to choose from. Maybe this is something the site is considering adding...I did send them an email suggesting it on behalf of fans of the Live Dealer experience.
The casino does offer some great variety when it comes to slots and Table Games, and as you will read, the content is very compelling, especially if you are a fan of the spinning reels.
I like when a casino operator uses more than one supplier for their games. These days, content is king, and having more than one developer in play means that you will find games with very different design elements in the same casino lobby. At Casino Mate, the site started out as a Microgaming-only casino, but in recent years it has added some more providers. Today, you will find games from the following vendors:
- Play'n GO
A couple of things to take note of here: first, some of these games may not appear in your casino lobby. This is because each software company has their own restricted list of countries to complement that of the Malta Gaming Authority. Also, the games are no longer available as a download. To accommodate the multiple providers, an Instant Play platform was required.
While I am more of a Table Games player myself, I thought I would start my test session with some slots action. Here is where you will find the widest array of content, and truth be told I love the Betsoft 3D slots, so I wanted to give them a spin (pun intended) before I moved on to the game I traditionally play.
If you are looking for amazing graphics, then you will find plenty of great titles in the Casino Mate lobby. Some games feature characters you know from the entertainment world, along with some that have been developed by the vendors. Maybe you will recognize some of these titles from other casinos you have played in the past:
- Avalon II: The Quest For The Grail
- Bar Bar Black Sheep 5 Reel
- Bars & Stripes
- Big Kahuna - Snakes & Ladders
- Curry in a Hurry
- Enchanted Woods
- Frost Bite
- Frozen Diamonds
- Fun House
- Game of Thrones
- Golden Goose Genie's Gems
- Gopher Gold
- High 5
- Immortal Romance
- Inca Gold
- Irish Eyes
- Jungle Jim El Dorado
- Karaoke Party
- Ladies Nite
- Lady in Red
- Little Chief Big Cash
- Major Millions 3 Reel
- Monsters in the Closet
- Path of the Penguin
- Queen of the Jungle
- Quest for Beer
- Reel Gems
- Reel Play Poker Jacks or Better
- Rhyming Reels - Old King Cole
- Rings and Roses
- Rugby Star
- Sneak a Peek - Planet Exotica
- Sunset Showdown
- The Legend of Olympus
- Tomb Raider - Secret of the Sword
- Vinyl Countdown
- Win Sum Dim Sum
- Winter Gold
- ...and hundreds more!
If you are a fan of video poker, then you are in luck with this casino! Microgaming has a great selection of variants in their catalog, and it appears that Casino Mate has them all available for you! IF you aren't sure about how some of the games work, the site also has a brief overview of each of the titles, so you can familiarize yourself. Even without reading the overviews, you know that you are looking for a Royal Flush, and what I like to do is look at the paytable for each game. Some games provide almost dead even odds, which is about as well as you can do in a casino, that's for sure!
While I stuck to Aces and Faces for my playing review, the following titles are available for you to choose from:
- 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 (kings or better)
- Louisiana Double
- Tens or Better
I love Pai Gow Poker. The combination of having to make decisions with the cards to form two hands, combined with the number of times you tie hands makes the game a much slower burn than some other table games. When I test a casino, this is the game I search out first, and I am happy to report that Casino Mate does offer Pai Gow in their lobby.
Now, I suspect many of my readers are more comfortable with Blackjack or Roulette. You won't be disappointed with the selection at Casino Mate, as there are multiple variants of each game also in the Table Games lobby. Here is a selection of what you will find:
- 21 Burn Blackjack
- 3 Card Poker
- Atlantic City Gold Blackjack
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- Casino Hold 'Em
- Casino War
- Pai Gow Poker
- Spanish Blackjack
- Three Card Poker
- Vegas Downtown Blackjack
- Vegas Single Deck Blackjack
- Vegas Strip Blackjack
Overall, I think having table games from multiple providers is another smart move made by Casino Mate. The superstitious gambler likes to change tables when things are running bad, and even the look and feel of a table changing is good enough to keep them around for a longer session!
For a casino that isn't taking bets from American players, payment processing is far less of a headache. Casino Mate has been able to make arrangements with many of the leading payment solutions to ensure that you get your money to the casino without any hassle. AS far as withdrawals go, I always recommend that players use e-wallets like Skrill whenever possible. This ensures the fastest payout times (typically instant after the 6-24 hour pending period a casino holds withdrawal requests.
Note: Those of you making a deposit with a standard credit card will not be able to make a withdrawal back to the card so you will need to request a wire transfer.
|Deposit Method||Deposit time||Withdrawal Method||Payout Timeframe|
|Visa||Instant||Yes||3 - 5 Business days|
|Instadebit||Instant||Yes||3 - 5 Business days|
|Wire Transfer||N/A||Yes||3 - 5 Business days|
When a casino group owns multiple sites, I get a little fearful when I start to review their promotions area. It is very easy to be complacent when it comes to developing unique offers for every brand under one umbrella, so I give high marks to companies who put in the effort to do so. Unfortunately, a glance at the offers at Casino Mate reveals only a slight change in the types of offers being given to players. I'll review a couple of these for you in detail here.
The Welcome Bonus at Casino Mate touts that you can earn up to $1,400 in bonuses. Seeing that on the banner on the homepage definitely peaked my interest, so I decided to dig into the details of the offer a little more to determine its credibility.
The offer is a progressive bonus on your first four deposits at the casino:
- 1st Deposit: 100% to $200
- 2nd Deposit: 50% to $300
- 3rd Deposit: 50% to $400
- 4th Deposit: 50% to $500
Looking at this, you would have to make $2,600 of deposits to maximize the $1,400 in bonus dollars. As this is the most aggressive the casino is with their bonuses, my suggestion is to try to max this out as much as you can.
Digging further into the Terms and Conditions, I found that the maximum you can cash out from the bonus winnings is $5,000 (that is fine by me). Also, you must meet a minimum of 100 bets and a 50x playthrough of the bonus amount to convert to real money. Finally, you have 30 days to complete the task from the time of deposit before the unearned bonus dollars are removed from your account.
Cash Bonuses and Free Spins aside, where I find the most value at most online casinos is in the VIP Program. As you become more loyal, your bonuses and rewards should increase, which all goes into your overall profitability as a player. I always like to review the terms of a VIP program in great detail.
Here is where I ran into a snag with Casino Mate. The casino has a VIP Program (Club Mate), but when I clicked on the page for more information, what I found was a very generic overview of the program. I checked the Terms and Conditions for more details, but I also came up empty there. This is aggravating to me, especially since I am trying to rate this casino for all my readers.
Here is what I can gather from the program: entry into Club Mate is totally subjective. Yes, they give you some idea of how you might qualify, but there are no concrete steps to take. To add a further wrinkle, you must email the casino to request them to take a look at your play.
I much prefer sites that are transparent about the VIP Program, including showing all of the tiers available and the rewards for reaching each tier. Players should have their motivators laid out clearly in front of them and not have to beg the casino for this kind of information.
The addition of multiple software vendors meant that Casino Mate had to drop their downloadable client in favor of a browser-based solution. The good news for mobile casino fans; this means all of the games are also available for play through the browser on your device. There may be a couple of titles that don't make their way to the mobile platform, but for the most part, you will find the games you enjoy playing on your PC when you access the casino on the go.
Let's face it: the hope is that you will never have to contact a casino for any issue. However, in the case where you indeed have to contact customer support, you expect a quick and correct response. Casino Mate offers 24/7 customer support (I know I shouldn't have to say this, but some casinos still don't have 24/7 coverage) via email, telephone, and Live Chat.
I decided to give the Live Chat a test run to see how well the casino handled my queries. Clicking on the Chat button, an agent responded within 90 seconds, which is excellent. I had two questions which were relatively easy to answer but could trip up a novice agent. Both questions were answered within a few minutes, and both were answered to my satisfaction. I know this is an extremely small sample size, but it should be a good indicator of how responsive the casino is to their customers.
Once you get past some of the cumbersome website design, I think you are going to like what you find at Casino Mate. While seemingly focused on the Australian market, I would say that takes a back seat to the game selection which is available to players from many countries. As far as the promotions go, I have seen much better, but I also recognize that many players don't consider offers and bonuses to be a priority when it comes to choosing a casino.
Overall, there are definitely more positives than negatives at Casino Mate. As long as you don't mind a lack of great promotions or any upfront information on the VIP program, then I am happy to recommend this site to you. One thing you can do is email the casino asking for more VIP details before you make a deposit. You may not get a response, but it is worth a shot before you open up your wallet for what I hope will be a long, prosperous journey with this online casino.