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Winstar is a newly-launched online casino which is owned by GameAccount Network (GAN). With licensing from the UK Gambling Commission and a collection of high-profile partnerships, Winstar is able to offer UK players a wide range of popular casino games as well as a live casino suite. Read on as we assess across a number of crucial areas for players.
Winstar’s owner, Game Account Network (GAN), has been in operation since 2002 and has managed to develop a considerable pedigree in the areas of game publishing and distribution. During that time, the company has also forged partnerships with a number of big-name providers such as, Everi Holdings, Gamomat and Swedish giants, Netent.
On desktops, the Winstar Casino website looks slick and professional, comprising plenty of visual accoutrements such as mouse-over effects and flashy overlays. The horizontal navigation deployed throughout the site, although basic, is easy to use and intuitive.
Set against a dark purple background, the site utilises an increasingly popular approach to lobby presentation in which the actual thumbnail squares are arranged in a collage. This helps relieve the visually burdensome grid layout found on many online casino websites.
Although many of the visual effects found on PC screens have not been ported over to smaller devices (it’s not currently possible), the Winstar website retains its sleek appearance and operates without any problems. Loading times for both desktop and mobile platforms were also very snappy.
GAN has also developed an award-winning online casino gaming platform known as GameSTACK™, enabling it to distributing content from major developers like IGT, Scientific Gaming, Netent and Aristrocrat. This of course means that the Winstar Online Casino is able to provide its players with an extensive range of casino games.
Winstar’s considerable game portfolio is dominated by slots which include numerous big-name titles such as Twin Spin, Aloha Cluster Player, Warlords and Drive: Multiplayer Mahem. Lesser-known games have also been made available and include obscure-sounding slots such as White Orchid, Crazy Money and Wishwood.
Big-money players will be able to take advantage of an impressive collection of progressive slot games like Cosmic Fortune, Super Multitimes Progressive, Lucky Leprechaun and Wolf Run.
As well as slots, the Winstar platform includes plenty of table games, starting with eight blackjack variants:
There are also 13 Roulette games including American Roulette (two versions), European Roulette (two versions) and Roulette 3D. The same kind of coverage is offered in the poker section which features games such as Ultimate X Poker, Hold’Em and Double Bonus Poker.
Live Dealer Suite
WinStar’s live dealer suite offers roulette, blackjack, bet-on-poker, baccarat, war of bets and dice. The roulette and blackjack games are powered by Netent Live software – always an encouraging sign, given how many in-game features the platform can offer players.
The other games, bet-on-poker, baccarat, war on bets and dice, operate on the GameSTACK™ live platform. During testing we found it to be responsive and well laid-out, despite the rather basic interface.
There are two promotions at present: a welcome bonus and extra spin incentive.
Winstars offers new players a welcome bonus up to £250 + 100 spins which, at first glance, appears to be pretty competitive. However, a closer inspection of the terms and conditions reveals wagering rules of 45. Although these only apply only to the bonus, as far as play-through requirements go, they’re quite high.
The sting is taking to a certain degree by the fact that the welcome bonus applies to ALL of Winstar games. Players also have 30 days in which to meet these requirements which is pretty standard across the industry.
The second promotion seems a better deal. Rewarding £20 depositors with 20 bonus spins, it’s ONLY subject to x20 wagering rules. After opting in, players have a 7-day play-through window. Significantly, this promotion applies to all slot games.
Win Star Online Casino offers a fairly detailed FAQ section which provides information about deposits/withdrawals, game selection, game interruptions and browser compatibility. There’s also live chat, telephone and email support. We tried out the live chat platform and received a response within 30 seconds which was pleasing.
Currently, players can use traditional payment methods such as VISA, Maestro and Mastercard. Online payment services, PayPal, Skrill and Neteller have also been made available – not the widest collection of deposit/withdrawal methods we’ve seen but for most players, these should be enough.
It’s pretty evident that we’re dealing with a new online casino here. Clues can be found with the live dealer suite which looks under-populated and the limited number of promotions currently available.
But despite its relatively short existence, the Win Star casino website actually offers a good overall user experience. It looks superb on desktop computer screens and also works well across all mobile devices, despite the omission of the vision flourishes found on larger screens.
Game variety is also a high-point, thanks largely to the partnerships that GAN, has created with big-name developers – its association with Netent has proved crucial in this particular area, allowing it to make use of that company’s superlative live dealer package.
The promotional section is something of a mixed bag. High wagering on the welcome bonus takes the sheen off what would otherwise be a generous offer. Nevetheless, the bonus spin package certainly helps thanks to lower wagering rules, not to mention the number of games to which it applies.
Customer support is solid enough, with all major channels of communication available to querying customers – we were particularly impressed by the quick response times when using the live chat facility.
Transparency is not an issue either – all promotional terms and conditions appear prominently and are easily accessible to users.
So to conclude, it seems that Win Star Casino has much to offer players. Although its a work-in-progress, this young online casino has created a solid foundation upon which it should be able to build a big reputation for itself.
There are certainly other casinos out there with more options when it comes to promotions and live dealer games. But a superb online platform and diverse range of games means that Win Star has enough to compete with a host of big-name brands.