Virgin Games Review
Virgin Games used to be one of the UK's largest and best online casinos and were previously one of our most recommended brands. In 2013 Virgin were bought out by Gamesys and in our opinion this started a steady decline that has resulted these days in a games site that is little more than a brand.
Everything looks good on the surface but in reality the casino is no longer innovative and doesn't lead the way in the way it did previously. There are only around 100 slots available, which is not very many in the world of online casinos and you will find very few promotions or other reasons to play with them over another brand. Shame really but just another example of what happens when brands get licensed out.
- Stale - Little more than just the brand
- Boring – Looks good on the surface but little under the cover
- Less Offers – Poor low value promotions
Software and Games
If you read around a little about Virgin Games you'll find they often come in for a hard time for being a little limited on their number of games and range. I completely disagree, Virgin have been around for a long time in the world of online casino and just like another old hand, 32Red, they go down the less is more route. If you want to play games like Keno, scratchcards or Pai Gow then you'll need to go elsewhere but for the bread and butter slots and casino games Virgin are better than most others. For me it's better to get the main product right rather than offering lots of features in a half-baked way.
The Virgin casino runs three main software packages with some games from other providers too. The main software is Gamesys, as you would expect considering they run the Virgin site and own part of the assets. The other two main providers are NetEnt and IGT with additional games from WMS, Barcrest, Hasbro, High5 Games and Blueprint Gaming.
In total there are around 100 slots to play, over 20 table games, 5 live games as well as a dedicated Bingo section and one of the most respected Poker platforms available. If sheer quantity is all that matters to you then you may be better off with a casino offering 1000's of games. On the other hand if you like playing IGT, Gamesys and NetEnt games then Virgin have all the top titles and there really isn't a better place to play.
A stand out feature at Virgin Games is the game info button next to every game on site. This tells you minimums and maximums for the game, limits and game features. There is no need to try to work it out on the go as the information is clear as day before you even start playing. Each game has a demo function too meaning you can play all games for free first to see if you like the title before risking any funds.
A lack of too many games also makes the site a pleasure to use, the simplicity makes finding your games amazingly easy, after a few visits to the site you could find a game with your eyes closed. I wouldn't say Virgin will meet all of your betting and gaming needs all of the time (e.g. they don't have a sportsbook yet) but they are certainly a welcome addition to any gaming portfolio.
I love the live casino at Virgin simply because there are only five games; roulette, baccarat, blackjack, three card poker and Hold'em. This means you don't have to try and work out which is the best live game and which one you should play. This is another area where you will notice the UK centric casino view with all live dealers being European.
We don't usually cover bingo on OnlineBetting.org.uk but the Virgin Games bingo product is worth a mention. This is not a casino with a bingo package on the side rather this is a fully stocked bingo site in its own rights. Virgin's partner Gamesys also run JackPotJoy, one of the largest and most successful bingo sites you can play with. All of this experience has been transferred to Virgin who offer a simple but exceptional range of bingo games. Remember if you choose to wager your bonus on bingo games you only need to meet a 4x rollover before you can withdraw any winnings.
Virgin Games are instant play only. I often prefer a download casino to be available for those times when your playing on a slower connection or using a machine with low resources but this is less of a problem with this casino site. The Virgin products are so simple to use and with no peripheral graphics and flash, the instant play casino is one of the smoothest I've ever seen. I have never had a game crash on me through Virgin, the mobile app is also exceptional when playing on slower mobile networks. A top casino to use wherever your playing, on any device.
Although Virgin don't offer the widest range or number of games the ability to move between casino, slots, bingo and poker all under one roof is largely unparalleled in its simplicity.
Promotions and Loyalty
Virgin as a brand made it's name in the 1970's and 1980's by being different and part of this was through rewarding customers with regular promotions and engagement. The Virgin Games casino is no different, for me the absolute best feature with Virgin is their range of promotions and loyalty schemes that suit all type of player.
Here is a summary of some of the promotions you can expect to find, I guarantee one of these will be right up your street however you play:
- Cashback When You Want It – Pick any two hour period, any day of the week, and you can earn an extra 10% cashback during your chosen time. Wager £30+ during the period to qualify with a maximum cashback of £20 and minimum £1 of loses.
- Proper Prizes – Extra jackpots available for playing specific games with actual attainable targets for th average player. All you need do is play £50+ on a game, or selection of games during the promotional week to be in with a chance to win huge prizes from £10k to £1M depending on the offer.
- Daily Free Games – Each day Virgin offer a game to try for free to all customers.
- Honest Loyalty – V points earned each time you play with fair and open terms, see next section.
V Points Loyalty Programme
When you sign up for a new account with Virgin you will be automatically entered into the V Points scheme. This gives you one point for every £5 wagered on bingo or every £20 played in casino. The terms of the scheme are really simple, this isn't about free spins it's about real cash, and that's really what casino rewards should be about.
Points can be exchanged for either withdrawable cash or flying club miles that can be used with Virgin Airlines. The exchange rate is 1 point to every £0.01, therefore 1,000 points are worth £10, or 1 point is equal to one flying mile.
I love this reward scheme for being so open and honest in it conditions. It's surprisingly hard to get real cash from casino reward scheme, this does stand out as a great exception. If you fly Virgin too then by playing your casino games here could save you some serious cash in airfares.
The points only expire if you don't play at all within 90 days, which is very fair compared to some other schemes.
Interface and Features
If you've read a few of my casino reviews you will know that I value functionality much more than flashy features. This is exactly what you get with Virgin Games, an easy to navigate casino that does what it should do – make it easy to play games. Both the desktop site and mobile app are beautiful in their simplicity. Part of this is driven by the fact Virgin only offer a limited number of games and part of this is driven by the years of experience that both the casino site and brand overall have.
Click around the site or app and you will notice every page loads in literally a second. There are no heavy graphics, flashy sidebars or hidden sections, everything the site offers is at your fingertips. All the games are listed under the 'Games' menu option with tabs for slots, casino, live casino, bingo and poker – that's it. Access to customer support, responsible gaming, promotions and the V point scheme is all available with one click. Virgin Games have one of the most honest sites you will ever see and I give them a huge amount of respect for this.
All slots are listed on one page, something you can only do if you are selective in the games you offer as Virgin are. Each title comes with a short description, the game info tab tells you everything you need to know about the game and you can even play every game as a demo first.
Virgin Games Mobile Casino
The Virgin Games app is equally as good for me as the desktop site, it's smooth fast and looks great without the need for lots of graphics. This makes the app not only superbly easy to navigate but you can also use it on slower mobile networks.
From the second you login you are presented with games and not with loads offers and features. On the whole most times we use a casino app all we want to do is get straight to the gameplay, especially if on the move, and for this purpose there are no better apps than Virgin's.
The central panel displays a single featured offer or new game, apart from that the rest of the space is reserved for showing you slots and games. The daily free game is displayed at the top allowing you to have a quick free spin on a new game with further new games and most popular games following further down. From the home page you can access every game on the site, fine this does mean a little bit of scrolling but because the app is so fast and no frills this takes no time at all.
The fact that Virgin only offer a select number of games allows them to do this in a way some larger online casino mobile applications can't.
Banking and Payment Methods
Virgin Games accept all of the major payment methods you would want to use in the UK. Being a UK and Republic of Ireland only casino this is another example of where Virgin can optimise the experience for the British market. Virgin Games accept all major Visa, Maestro and MasterCard payments along with eWallets, PayPal, Skrill and Neteller as well as the PaySafeCard pre-paid cash card.
All minimum deposits and withdrawals are set at £10 (€10) and you can deposit in British Pounds from the UK or Euros from Ireland. Maximum deposits vary based on payment method, for example this is set at £20,000 for card payments, £5,500 for PayPal, £5000 for Skrill, £1,000 for Neteller and £750 for PaySafeCard. This is simply a transaction limit you can make multiple transactions to increase deposit amounts if you wish.
Withdrawals are processed within 24hours with no additional pending period, the time to reach you then depends on the method used, eWallets being almost instant and bank card transactions taking 2-5 days. You can also withdraw by bank wire if you phone up and request. Virgin Games also allow you to withdraw to PaySafeCard too, which is not too common.
Withdrawal & Payout Limits
Virgin Games have a £10,000 withdrawal limit per transaction but there is no overall limit so you can request as many transactions as you like. You can only withdraw using the same payment method you used to deposit but payment methods can be switched whenever your account balance is less than £1.
Payout limits are set at £25,000 per customer per day although this is a minimum at the discretion of the operator. If you do win more, or are a higher stakes player, I've heard Virgin are generally very happy to pay out more. Be aware of this though, if you are playing big money maybe contact them first and find out what will happen if you do win big. The max payout excludes progressive jackpots obviously.
The availability of banking information is a good benchmark as to how open and honest a casino site is. Virgin have some of the easiest to find and interpret banking information of any operator, this makes a refreshing change.
About Virgin Games
We all know the Virgin brand. The company was set up in 1970 by Sir Richard Branson and Nik Powel when the entered the music business by setting up a record shop in Notting Hill, London. They chose the name 'Virgin' based on the fact they knew nothing about running a record shop and being industry virgins is actually what set aside the brand from the outset, knowing very little about the record business meant they were not shackled in the same way other merchants were.
Virgin showed their intention to prioritise the user experience from their very early days. Their initial record shops had bean bags for customers to use while listening to music and even gave out free food. These days the Virgin Group consists of in the region of 400 companies generating just under £10 billion a year in profit. In spite of this large portions of the brand have avoided the corporate curse and in general Virgin understand that it is the customer that adds the value, I would say Virgin Games fits this bill.
Virgin Games was founded in 2004 but were not an immediate success. The brand struggled a little in its first decade, possibly because they were yet again 'virgins' to the industry. At this time they had a great site with a good user focus but lacked a cutting edge approach, tending to fall behind competitors. It was the acquisition of Virgin by Gamesys in 2013 that really gave the brand life. Gamesys being one of the industry's biggest casino and bingo software providers were able to update the casino site without losing the charm that makes customers want to come back.
The company is now owned and run entirely by Gamesys with the brand licenced from the larger Virgin Group. The licenced operator of Virgin is known as Nozee Limited, part of the Gamesys Group. Whereas Virgin itself has no direct control of the casino it is worth nothing that they must continue to provide a typical 'Virgin' experience to continue using the name, so feel safe that things will stay the same for the foreseeable future.
Virgin Games themselves don't have a huge list of awards but parent company Gamesys have more accolades than we could possibly cover here.
You would expect good customer support form a Virgin brand, this is exactly what you get. In fact this is one of the few casinos that actively encourages you to get in touch if you have any problems or teething issues.
Advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through free phone, email and live chat. I've noticed their email service in particular is one of the best, replying within a couple of hours and even at weekends. In the past I've even had Virgin phone me up to offer me a bonus or check if I need anything for the account. Some may find this annoying, and if you ask them to they won't contact you, but I think this is a great service in an industry that can often be rather cold and distant from players.
If you wish you can also write to their head office, the address and other contact information is listed at the end of this guide. Virgin Games also have a twitter account and engage strongly through social media.
Self-Exclusion and Responsible Gambling
Gambling in the UK is regarded as one of the safest industries in the world. In order to operate on these shores you must possess a Gambling Commission licence which stipulates, among other things, that you must protect vulnerable people, prevent fraud and encourage responsible gambling through an open and honest industry. If you would like to read more see our licencing guide.
Being a UK & ROI focused operator Virgin Games fully adhere to the law and in fact go the extra mile in a lot of cases. For example, prominently displayed on the top menu bar is a 'Play Responsibly' tab that takes you to all responsible gambling information in one click. Here you will see a range of tools available to help your play safely and securely depending on your needs with deposit limits, session reminders, self-exclusion (6 months to 5 years), cooling off (24 hours to 6 months) and account closure. The site also offers a full set of self-assessment tools and information on where to get any further help.
It is very nice to see operators like Virgin display responsible gambling tools with pride rather than trying to bury them on the site. Thumbs up from me. For more about this see our responsible gambling article.
Many independent sources of advice are available including Gam Care (http://www.gamcare.org.uk/).
Contact and Licence Information
UK Licence Number: 38905
- Name: Virgin Games
- URL: www.virgingames.com
- Licenced Name: Gamesys Limited
- Licenced Operator: Nozee Limited (part of the Gamesys Group) based in Gibraltar
- Phone: 0800 083 1833
- Address: Nozee Limited | Suite 2, Floor 2, Waterport Place, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA
- Twitter: @VirginGames